David B Abrams

David Abrams
David B Abrams

Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Professional overview

Dr. David Abrams' career focuses on systems and social learning frameworks to inform population health enhancement. He has experience in testing theory, research design, measuring mechanisms of behavior change and outcome, and evaluating clinical trials (behavioral and pharmacological). His interests span topics from basic bio-behavioral mechanisms and clinical treatments to policy across risk factors and behaviors (e.g. tobacco/nicotine; alcohol, obesity, co-morbidity of medical and mental health), disease states (cancer; cardiovascular; HIV-AIDS), levels (biological, individual, organizational, worksite, community, global, and internet based), populations and disparities. His interests converge in the domain of implementation science to cost-efficiently inform evidence-based public health practice and policymaking.

Through transdisciplinary and translational research strategies, Dr. Abrams provides scientific leadership in tobacco control. His current focus is in strengthening global and United States tobacco and nicotine management strategies. Deaths of 1 billion smokers are estimated by 2100 caused overwhelmingly by use of combustible (smoked) tobacco products, not nicotine. Harm minimization is a key overarching systems strategy to speed the net public health benefit of emergent disruptive technologies for cleaner nicotine delivery. The goal is more rapid elimination of preventable deaths, disease burdens, and the widening gap in health disparities driven disproportionately by disparities in smoking.

Dr. Abrams was a professor and founding director of the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown University Medical School. He then directed the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Until 2017, he was Professor of Health Behavior and Society at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the founding Executive Director of the Schroeder National Institute of Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative (formerly the American Legacy Foundation).

Dr. Abrams has published over 250 peer reviewed scholarly articles and been a Principal Investigator on numerous NIH grants. He is lead author of The Tobacco Dependence Treatment Handbook: A Guide to Best Practices. He has served on expert panels at NIH and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on Obesity, Alcohol Misuse and Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation. He has also served on the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute (NIH-NCI) and was President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

For a complete list of Dr. Abrams' published work, click here.

Education

BSc (Hons), Psychology and Computer Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
MS, Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
PhD, Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI

Honors and awards

Research Laureate Award, American Academy of Health Behavior (2014)
Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award for Tobacco Research, American Society for Preventive Oncology (2008)
Distinguished Alumni Award: Rutgers University, The Graduate School, New Brunswick, NJ (2007)
The Musiker-Miranda Distinguished Service Award, American Psychological Association (2006)
Distinguished Service Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine (2006)
Outstanding Research Mentor Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine (2006)
Book of the Year Award: Tobacco Dependence Treatment Handbook. American Journal of Nursing (2005)
Distinguished Scientist Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine (1998)

Areas of research and study

Behavioral Science
Chronic Diseases
Evaluations
Implementation and Impact of Public Health Regulations
Implementation science
Population Health
Public Health Pedagogy
Public Health Systems
Research Design
Systems Integration
Systems Interventions
Tobacco Control
Translational science

Publications

Publications

Can the Association Between Electronic-Cigarette Use and Stroke Be Interpreted as Risk of Stroke?

Failed retrieving data from NYU Scholars.

Hookah use patterns, social influence and associated other substance use among a sample of New York City public university students

El Shahawy, O., Park, S. H., Rogers, E. S., Shearston, J. A., Thompson, A. B., Cooper, S. C., Freudenberg, N., Ball, S. A., Abrams, D., Shelley, D., & Sherman, S. E.

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Substance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy

Volume

15

Issue

1
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Most hookah use studies have not included racial and ethnic minorities which limits our understanding of its use among these growing populations. This study aimed to investigate the individual characteristics of hookah use patterns and associated risk behaviors among an ethnically diverse sample of college students. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 2460 students (aged 18-25) was conducted in 2015, and data was analyzed in 2017. Descriptive statistics were used to present the sociodemographic characteristics, hookah use-related behavior, and binge drinking and marijuana use according to the current hookah use group, including never, exclusive, dual/poly hookah use. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to examine how hookah related behavior and other risk behaviors varied by sociodemographics and hookah use patterns. Results: Among current hookah users (n = 312), 70% were exclusive hookah users and 30% were dual/poly hookah users. There were no statistically significant differences in sociodemographic characteristics except for race/ethnicity (p < 0.05). Almost half (44%) of the exclusive hookah users reported having at least five friends who also used hookah, compared to 30% in the dual/poly use group. Exclusive users were less likely to report past year binge drinking (17%) and past year marijuana use (25%) compared to those in the dual/poly use group (44 and 48% respectively); p < 0.001. Conclusions: The socialization aspects of hookah smoking seem to be associated with its use patterns. Our study calls for multicomponent interventions designed to target poly tobacco use as well as other substance use that appears to be relatively common among hookah users.

Role of e-cigarettes and pharmacotherapy during attempts to quit cigarette smoking: The PATH Study 2013-16

Failed retrieving data from NYU Scholars.

Young Adult Tobacco and E-cigarette Use Transitions: Examining Stability Using Multistate Modeling

Failed retrieving data from NYU Scholars.

Associations of risk factors of e-cigarette and cigarette use and susceptibility to use among baseline PATH study youth participants (2013–2014)

Failed retrieving data from NYU Scholars.

Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in Recalled Exposure to and Self-Reported Impact of Tobacco Marketing and Promotions

Failed retrieving data from NYU Scholars.

Evidence, alarm, and the debate over e-cigarettes

Failed retrieving data from NYU Scholars.

Longitudinal e-Cigarette and cigarette use among US Youth in the PATH Study (2013-2015)

Stanton, C. A., Bansal-Travers, M., Johnson, A. L., Sharma, E., Katz, L., Ambrose, B. K., Silveira, M. L., Day, H., Sargent, J., Borek, N., Compton, W. M., Johnson, S. E., Kimmel, H. L., Kaufman, A. R., Limpert, J., Abrams, D., Cummings, K. M., Goniewicz, M. L., Tanski, S., Travers, M. J., Hyland, A. J., & Pearson, J. L.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Volume

111

Issue

10

Page(s)

1088-1096
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Evidence is accumulating that youth who try Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS, e-cigarettes) may go on to try cigarettes. This analysis examines the bidirectional patterns of ENDS and cigarette use among US youth over one year and uses propensity score matching (PSM) to examine frequency of ENDS use on changes in cigarette smoking. Methods: Our analysis included 11 996 participants who had two waves of available data (Wave 1 [W1] 2013-2014; Wave 2 [W2] 2014-2015) drawn from the longitudinal Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. Cross-sectional weighted prevalence estimates are reported for cigarettes and ENDS. We used PSM to estimate the likelihood of ENDS use at W1 and to draw matched analytic samples, then used regression (logistic or linear) models to examine the effect of W1 ENDS use on W2 cigarette smoking. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: In weighted analyses, 69.3% of W1 past-30-day cigarette smokers exhibited past-30-day smoking at W2; 42.2% of W1 past-30-day ENDS users were using ENDS at W2. W1 ever use of either product was similarly associated with W2 new use of the other product. Unweighted PSM models indicated W1 cigarette-naïve ENDS use was associated with W2 ever-cigarette smoking (n = 676; adjusted odds ratio = 3.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.95 to 5.45, P <. 001); W1 ever-ENDS use did not affect change in cigarette frequency at W2 (n = 1020, beta = 0.31, 95% CI = -0.76 to 1.39, P =. 57); 1-5 days ENDS use compared with ever, no past-30-day ENDS use was associated with a statistically significant decrease of W2 smoking days (n = 256, beta = -2.64, 95% CI = -4.96 to -0.32; P =. 03); and W1 6+ day ENDS users did not show a decrease in frequency of cigarette smoking. Conclusions: Ever-ENDS use predicts future cigarette smoking, and frequency of ENDS use has a differential impact on subsequent cigarette smoking uptake or reduction. These results suggest that both cigarettes and ENDS should be targeted in early tobacco prevention efforts with youth.

Longitudinal tobacco use transitions among adolescents and young adults: 2014-2016

Hair, E. C., Romberg, A. R., Niaura, R., Abrams, D. B., Bennett, M. A., Xiao, H., Rath, J. M., Pitzer, L., & Vallone, D.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

21

Issue

4

Page(s)

458-468
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Among youth, the frequency and prevalence of using more than one tobacco (small cigar, cigarette, and hookah) or nicotine-containing product (e-cigarettes-ENDS) are changing. These shifts pose challenges for regulation, intervention, and prevention campaigns because of scant longitudinal data on the stability of use patterns in this changing product landscape. Methods: A nationally representative longitudinal survey of 15- to 21-year olds (n = 15,275) was used to describe transitions between never use, noncurrent use, and past 30-day use of combustible tobacco, e-cigarettes (ENDS), and dual use of both kinds of products. A multistate model was fit to observations collected every 6 months across 2.5 years to estimate the probability of transitions between states (TPs), the average time in state (sojourn time), and the effect of age on transitions. Results: Current state strongly predicted future state over time intervals of 1 year or less, but only weakly predicted future state at longer intervals: TP to noncurrent use was higher for ENDS-only than combustible-only users over a 6-month interval but was similar for both groups over a 2-year interval. Sojourn time was significantly longer for combustible-only (0.52 years) and dual use (0.55 years) than ENDS-only use (0.27 years); older youth were more likely than younger youth to stay combustible tobacco users or noncurrent users. Conclusions: The dynamics of transitions between combustible tobacco products and ENDS in a population of youth and young adults suggest that policy and prevention efforts must consider the frequent changes and instability over a 1-year or less time period in use patterns among young people. Implications: The study addresses an urgent need in public health for timely information on how youth and young adults use tobacco and nicotine products. We found that youth, particularly adolescents, moved frequently between using ENDS and combustible tobacco products either alone or together. Importantly, the utility of current-use states for predicting future use states declined for time horizons longer than 1 year. Our results demonstrate a need for caution in interpreting product transitions. Longitudinal data with frequent observations and coverage of a wide range of possible product types is required to fully characterize usage patterns in youth.

Prevalence and Correlates of Snuff Use, and its Association with Tuberculosis, among Women Living with HIV in South Africa

Elf, J. L., Variava, E., Chon, S., Lebina, L., Motlhaoleng, K., Gupte, N., Niaura, R., Abrams, D., Martinson, N., & Golub, J. E.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

21

Issue

8

Page(s)

1087-1092
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: A higher proportion of people living with HIV (PLWH) smoke compared to the general population, but little information exists about the prevalence and correlates of smokeless tobacco use among PLWH. In South Africa, dry powdered tobacco is inhaled nasally as snuff. Methods: A cross-sectional survey among PLWH attending three HIV clinics was conducted. Snuff use was assessed via self-report and urine cotinine. Results: Given the low (3%) prevalence of snuff use among men, analysis was restricted to n = 606 nonsmoking women living with HIV. Half (n = 298, 49%) were snuff users, the majority of whom (n = 244, 84%) had a positive urine cotinine test. In adjusted analysis, snuff use was negatively associated with higher education (relative risk [RR] 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39, 0.77) and mobile phone ownership (RR 0.83; 95% CI: 0.71, 0.98), and positively associated with ever having tuberculosis (TB) (RR 1.22; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.45). In adjusted analysis, with current TB as the outcome, snuff use was marginally statistically significantly associated with a twofold increase in odds of a current TB diagnosis (odds ratio [OR] 1.99; 95% CI: 0.98, 4.15). Discussion: A high proportion of nonsmoking South African women living with HIV use snuff, which was a risk factor for TB. Additional research is needed to understand the relationship between snuff, TB, and other potential health risks. Implications: PLWH have a higher prevalence of smoking than their seronegative peers, but there is a paucity of research on smokeless tobacco use in this population, especially in low-resource settings. TB is the leading cause of death among PLWH, and with improvements to HIV treatment and care, PLWH are at greater risk of tobacco-related diseases. We report an extremely high prevalence of snuff use among women living with HIV in South Africa. Further, in this population snuff use is positively associated with ever having a TB diagnosis, as well as currently having TB.

Re: Disregarding the impact of nicotine on the developing brain when evaluating costs and benefits of noncombustible nicotine products

Abrams, D. B., Glasser, A. M., Villanti, A. C., Pearson, J. L., Rose, S., & Niaura, R. S. In Preventive Medicine.

Publication year

2019

Volume

120

Page(s)

158-159
Abstract
Abstract
This Letter to the Editor is in response to a letter from Ms. Flannery, titled, “Disregarding the impact of nicotine on the developing brain when evaluating costs and benefits of noncombustible nicotine products”. In our response, we address some concerns raised by Ms. Flannery, and reiterate our position in our original article. In particular, we underline the importance of a rational public health calculus that weighs beneficial and harmful consequences of policies related to noncombustible nicotine product (NNP) use. We further emphasize the need to correct misperceptions about relative risk of different products to encourage smokers to switch to NNPs. Lastly, we are explicit about our assertion that no use of any nicotine-containing products is the only way to avoid harm at any age, but that we must view this issue pragmatically for the benefit of public health.

Smoking Trajectory Classes and Impact of Social Smoking Identity in Two Cohorts of U.S. Young Adults

Johnson, A. L., Villanti, A. C., Williams, V., Rath, J. M., Vallone, D. M., Abrams, D. B., Hedeker, D., & Mermelstein, R. J.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Emerging Adulthood

Volume

7

Issue

4

Page(s)

258-269
Abstract
Abstract
This study describes cigarette smoking trajectories, the influence of social smoker self-identification (SSID), and correlates of these trajectories in two cohorts of U.S. young adults: a sample from the Chicago metropolitan area (Social Emotional Contexts of Adolescent and Young Adult Smoking Patterns [SECAP], n = 893) and a national sample (Truth Initiative Young Adult Cohort Study [YA Cohort], n = 1,491). Using latent class growth analyses and growth mixture models, five smoking trajectories were identified in each sample: in SECAP: nonsmoking (n = 658, 73.7%), declining smoking (n = 20, 2.2%), moderate/stable smoking (n = 114, 12.8%), high/stable smoking (n = 79, 8.9%), and escalating smoking (n = 22, 2.5%); and in YA Cohort: nonsmoking (n = 1,215, 81.5%), slowly declining smoking (n = 52, 3.5%), rapidly declining smoking (n = 50, 3.4%), stable smoking (n = 139, 9%), and escalating smoking (n = 35, 2.4%). SSID was most prevalent in moderate/stable smoking (35.5% SECAP), rapidly declining smoking (25.2% YA Cohort), and nonsmoking. Understanding nuances of how smoking identity is formed and used to limit or facilitate smoking behavior in young adults will allow for more effective interventions to reduce tobacco use.

Study protocol for a telephone-based smoking cessation randomized controlled trial in the lung cancer screening setting: The lung screening, tobacco, and health trial

Taylor, K. L., Deros, D. E., Fallon, S., Stephens, J., Kim, E., Lobo, T., Davis, K. M., Luta, G., Jayasekera, J., Meza, R., Stanton, C. A., Niaura, R. S., Abrams, D. B., McKee, B., Howell, J., Ramsaier, M., Batlle, J., Dornelas, E., Parikh, V., & Anderson, E.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Contemporary Clinical Trials

Volume

82

Page(s)

25-35
Abstract
Abstract
Lung cancer mortality can be reduced by 20% via low dose CT lung cancer screening (LCS) and treatment of early-stage disease. Providing tobacco use treatment to high risk cigarette smokers in the LCS setting may result in health benefits beyond the impact of LCS. As one of the nine trials in the National Cancer Institute's Smoking Cessation at Lung Examination (SCALE) collaboration, the goal of the Lung Screening, Tobacco, and Health (LSTH) trial is to develop a scalable and cost-effective cessation intervention for subsequent implementation by LCS programs. Guided by the RE-AIM Framework, the LSTH trial is a two-arm RCT (N = 1330) enrolling English- and Spanish-speaking smokers registered for LCS at one of seven collaborating sites. Participants are randomly assigned to Usual Care (UC; three proactive telephone counseling sessions/two weeks of nicotine patches) vs. Intensive Telephone Counseling (ITC; eight proactive sessions/eight weeks of nicotine patches, plus discussion of the LCS results to increase motivation to quit). Telephone counseling is provided by tobacco treatment specialists. To increase continuity of care, referring physicians are notified of participant enrollment and smoking status following the intervention. Outcomes include: 1) self-reported 7-day, 30-day, and sustained abstinence, and biochemically-verified at 3-, 6-, and 12-months post-randomization, 2) reach and engagement of the interventions, and 3) cost-effectiveness of the interventions. The Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) will model long-term impacts of six SCALE trials on the cost per life year saved, quality-adjusted life years saved, lung cancer mortality reduction, and population mortality. Clinical trials registration: The trial is registered at clinical trials.gov: NCT03200236.

Transitions in electronic cigarette use among adults in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, Waves 1 and 2 (2013-2015)

Coleman, B., Rostron, B., Johnson, S. E., Persoskie, A., Pearson, J., Stanton, C., Choi, K., Anic, G., Goniewicz, M. L., Cummings, K. M., Kasza, K. A., Silveira, M. L., Delnevo, C., Niaura, R., Abrams, D. B., Kimmel, H. L., Borek, N., Compton, W. M., & Hyland, A.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Tobacco control

Volume

28

Issue

1

Page(s)

50-59
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction This study assessed patterns of e-cigarette and cigarette use from Wave 1 to Wave 2 among adult e-cigarette users at Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Methods We examined changes in e-cigarette use frequency at Wave 2 among adult e-cigarette users at Wave 1 (unweighted n=2835). Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) were calculated using a predicted marginal probability approach to assess correlates of e-cigarette discontinuance and smoking abstinence at Wave 2. Results Half (48.8%) of adult e-cigarette users at Wave 1 discontinued their use of e-cigarettes at Wave 2. Among dual users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes at Wave 1, 44.3% maintained dual use, 43.5% discontinued e-cigarette use and maintained cigarette smoking and 12.1% discontinued cigarette use at Wave 2, either by abstaining from cigarette smoking only (5.1%) or discontinuing both products (7.0%). Among dual users at Wave 1, daily e-cigarette users were more likely than non-daily users to report smoking abstinence at Wave 2 (aPR=1.40, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.91). Using a customisable device (rather than a non-customisable one) was not significantly related to smoking abstinence at Wave 2 (aPR=1.14, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.60). Conclusions This study suggests that e-cigarette use patterns are highly variable over a 1-year period. This analysis provides the first nationally representative estimates of transitions among US adult e-cigarette users. Future research, including additional waves of the PATH Study, can provide further insight into long-term patterns of e-cigarette use critical to understanding the net population health impact of e-cigarettes in USA.

Adult interest in using a hypothetical modified risk tobacco product: findings from wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (2013–14)

Pearson, J. L., Johnson, A. L., Johnson, S. E., Stanton, C. A., Villanti, A. C., Niaura, R. S., Glasser, A. M., Wang, B., Abrams, D. B., Cummings, K. M., & Hyland, A.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Addiction

Volume

113

Issue

1

Page(s)

113-124
Abstract
Abstract
Background and aims: The US Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act provides a pathway for manufacturers to market a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP). This study examines socio-demographic and tobacco use correlates of interest in a hypothetical MRTP in a nationally representative sample of US adults. Design: Cross sectional wave 1 data from the 2013–14 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Setting: Household Audio-Computer Assisted Self-Interviews of US adults conducted in 2013–14. Participants: A total of 32 320 civilian, non-institutionalized adults in the United States. Measurements: Interest in using a hypothetical MRTP (‘If a tobacco product made a claim that it was less harmful to health than other tobacco products, how likely would you be to use that product?’), socio-demographics, tobacco use history and mental health and substance use problems. All estimates were weighted. Findings: Overall, 16.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 16.28, 17.18] of US adults reported interest in a hypothetical MRTP. Tobacco use was associated significantly with interest in a hypothetical MRTP, with interest most common among current established smokers (54.4%; 95% CI = 53.31, 55.39) and least common among never tobacco users (3.0%; 95% CI = 2.49, 3.55). Interest in a hypothetical MRTP was associated with experimental e-cigarette use among current experimental, current established and former smokers. Among non-smokers, race, age, education and substance use were associated with interest in using a hypothetical MRTP. Conclusions: Among adults in the United States, interest in using a hypothetical modified risk tobacco product is low overall, and highest among current experimental and established smokers. A small percentage of non-smokers are interested in using a hypothetical hypothetical modified risk tobacco product.

Correlates of transitions in tobacco product use by u.S. adult tobacco users between 2013–2014 and 2014–2015: Findings from the path study wave 1 and wave 2

Kasza, K. A., Coleman, B., Sharma, E., Conway, K. P., Cummings, K. M., Goniewicz, M. L., Niaura, R. S., Lambert, E. Y., Schneller, L. M., Feirman, S. P., Donaldson, E. A., Cheng, Y. C., Murphy, I., Pearson, J. L., Trinidad, D. R., Bansal-Travers, M., Elton-Marshall, T., Gundersen, D. A., Stanton, C. A., Abrams, D. B., Fong, G. T., Borek, N., Compton, W. M., & Hyland, A. J.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

International journal of environmental research and public health

Volume

15

Issue

11
Abstract
Abstract
More than half of adult tobacco users in the United States (U.S.) transitioned in tobacco product use between 2013–2014 and 2014–2015. We examine how characteristics of adult tobacco users in the U.S. relate to transitions in tobacco product use. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study data were analyzed from 12,862 adult current tobacco users who participated in Wave 1 (W1, 2013–2014) and Wave 2 (W2, 2014–2015). Three types of transitions were examined—(1) adding tobacco product(s); (2) switching to non-cigarette tobacco product(s); and (3) discontinuing all tobacco use—among those currently using: (1) any tobacco product; (2) cigarettes only (i.e., exclusive cigarette); and (3) cigarettes plus another tobacco product(s) (i.e., poly-cigarette). Multinomial logistic regression analyses determined relative risk of type of transition versus no transition as a function of demographic and tobacco use characteristics. Transitions in tobacco product use among adult tobacco users were common overall, but varied among different demographic groups, including by age, sex, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and poverty level. Further, cigarette smokers with higher dependence scores were more likely to add product(s) and less likely to discontinue tobacco use compared to those with low dependence scores. That high nicotine dependence is a barrier to discontinuing tobacco use adds evidence to support policy to lower nicotine content of cigarettes and to evaluate new products for their potential to reduce cigarette use.

Early Subjective Sensory Experiences with “Cigalike” E-cigarettes Among African American Menthol Smokers: A qualitative study

Smiley, S. L., DeAtley, T., Rubin, L. F., Harvey, E., Kierstead, E. C., Hooper, M. W., Niaura, R. S., Abrams, D. B., & Pearson, J. L.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

20

Issue

9

Page(s)

1069-1075
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Despite smoker interest in e-cigarettes as a harm reduction or cessation aid, many smokers prematurely discontinue vaping after trying a product. This study explored the role of early subjective sensory experiences in vaping persistence and desistance. Methods: African American menthol cigarette smokers aged ≥18 years (N = 15; M = 54.1 years; SD = 8.2), motivated to quit smoking, and interested in trying e-cigarettes were recruited in Washington, DC. Participants were followed for 3 weeks and provided menthol cigalike e-cigarettes after Week 1. Participants completed three interviews about their vaping experiences. Thematic analysis of responses was designed to understand the sensory aspects of vaping. Results: During the first 2 weeks of vaping, four participants reported a positive vaping experience while 11 reported decreased satisfaction. Salient sensory attributes of dissatisfaction included poor taste, insufficient throat hit, difficulty pulling, and a lack of “whole body” satisfaction compared to their preferred cigarette brand. Conclusions: The sensory experiences with a specific cigalike e-cigarette were related to vaping persistence and desistence. Although this was a small volunteer sample of African American menthol smokers motivated to quit smoking, 27% (N = 4) of participants with a positive vaping experience continued using the product, while 73% (N = 11) of participants' vaping experience was unsatisfactory across several experiential categories. In future research of e-cigarettes' efficacy as a smoking cessation or reduction aid, both device characteristics and smokers' expectations for these devices should be considered, so vapers do not expect the same taste sensations, throat sensations, and “whole body” satisfaction as they experienced with their menthol cigarettes. Implications: The subjective sensory experiences associated with initial e-cigarette product use are associated with use patterns. Subjective sensory experiences may also help understand the differences in the appeal, satisfaction, and harm-reduction potential of the rapidly evolving diverse types of products emerging in the marketplace. How products meet the sensory needs of smokers wanting to switch or quit smoking may influence adherence and success rates.

Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives

Abrams, D. B., Glasser, A. M., Pearson, J. L., Villanti, A. C., Collins, L. K., & Niaura, R. S.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Annual Review of Public Health

Volume

39

Page(s)

193-213
Abstract
Abstract
Inhalation of the toxic smoke produced by combusting tobacco products, primarily cigarettes, is the overwhelming cause of tobacco-related disease and death in the United States and globally. A diverse class of alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS) has recently been developed that do not combust tobacco and are substantially less harmful than cigarettes. ANDS have the potential to disrupt the 120-year dominance of the cigarette and challenge the field on how the tobacco pandemic could be reversed if nicotine is decoupled from lethal inhaled smoke. ANDS may provide a means to compete with, and even replace, combusted cigarette use, saving more lives more rapidly than previously possible. On the basis of the scientific evidence on ANDS, we explore benefits and harms to public health to guide practice, policy, and regulation. A reframing of societal nicotine use through the lens of harm minimization is an extraordinary opportunity to enhance the impact of tobacco control efforts.

How do we determine the impact of e-cigarettes on cigarette smoking cessation or reduction? Review and recommendations for answering the research question with scientific rigor

Villanti, A. C., Feirman, S. P., Niaura, R. S., Pearson, J. L., Glasser, A. M., Collins, L. K., & Abrams, D. B.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Addiction

Volume

113

Issue

3

Page(s)

391-404
Abstract
Abstract
Aims: To propose a hierarchy of methodological criteria to consider when determining whether a study provides sufficient information to answer the question of whether e-cigarettes can facilitate cigarette smoking cessation or reduction. Design: A PubMed search to 1 February 2017 was conducted of all studies related to e-cigarettes and smoking cessation or reduction. Settings: Australia, Europe, Iran, Korea, New Zealand and the United States. Participants and studies: 91 articles. Measurements: Coders organized studies according to six proposed methodological criteria: (1) examines outcome of interest (cigarette abstinence or reduction), (2) assesses e-cigarette use for cessation as exposure of interest, (3) employs appropriate control/comparison groups, (4) ensures that measurement of exposure precedes the outcome, (5) evaluates dose and duration of the exposure and (6) evaluates the type and quality of the e-cigarette used. Findings: Twenty-four papers did not examine the outcomes of interest. Forty did not assess the specific reason for e-cigarette use as an exposure of interest. Twenty papers did not employ prospective study designs with appropriate comparison groups. The few observational studies meeting some of the criteria (duration, type, use for cessation) triangulated with findings from three randomized trials to suggest that e-cigarettes can help adult smokers quit or reduce cigarette smoking. Conclusions: Only a small proportion of studies seeking to address the effect of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation or reduction meet a set of proposed quality standards. Those that do are consistent with randomized controlled trial evidence in suggesting that e-cigarettes can help with smoking cessation or reduction.

Linking Global Youth Tobacco Survey Data to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: the Case for Egypt

El-Shahawy, O., Nicksic, N. E., Ramôa, C., Jawad, M., Niaura, R., Abrams, D., & Sherman, S. E.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Current Addiction Reports

Volume

5

Issue

1

Page(s)

54-64
Abstract
Abstract
Purpose: Limited publications from Egypt have focused on prevalence of tobacco use and tobacco control policy. We used four waves of the Egypt Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) between 2001 and 2014 and a cigarette affordability measure, to evaluate the implementation of the World Health Organization’s MPOWER recommendations. Findings: Despite Egypt’s implementation of several MPOWER recommendations, the enforcement of laws and regulations may be limited, and therefore had little to no impact on youth current smoking prevalence through 2014. Notably, experimentation with cigarette smoking has significantly increased between waves 2001 and 2014. Summary: There is a missed opportunity for implementing evidence-based interventions for youth tobacco control in Egypt. There is a strong need for initiatives aiming at meaningful taxation, enforcement of smoking bans in public places, promoting smoke-free homes, appropriate mass media counter-advertising, and effective cessation activities.

Managing nicotine without smoke to save lives now: Evidence for harm minimization

Failed retrieving data from NYU Scholars.

Potential deaths averted in USA by replacing cigarettes with e-cigarettes

Levy, D. T., Borland, R., Lindblom, E. N., Goniewicz, M. L., Meza, R., Holford, T. R., Yuan, Z., Luo, Y., O’Connor, R. J., Niaura, R., & Abrams, D. B.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Tobacco control

Volume

27

Issue

1

Page(s)

18-25
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction US tobacco control policies to reduce cigarette use have been effective, but their impact has been relatively slow. This study considers a strategy of switching cigarette smokers to e-cigarette use (’vaping’) in the USA to accelerate tobacco control progress. Methods A Status Quo Scenario, developed to project smoking rates and health outcomes in the absence of vaping, is compared with Substitution models, whereby cigarette use is largely replaced by vaping over a 10-year period. We test an Optimistic and a Pessimistic Scenario, differing in terms of the relative harms of e-cigarettes compared with cigarettes and the impact on overall initiation, cessation and switching. Projected mortality outcomes by age and sex under the Status Quo and E-Cigarette Substitution Scenarios are compared from 2016 to 2100 to determine public health impacts. Findings Compared with the Status Quo, replacement of cigarette by e-cigarette use over a 10-year period yields 6.6 million fewer premature deaths with 86.7 million fewer life years lost in the Optimistic Scenario. Under the Pessimistic Scenario, 1.6 million premature deaths are averted with 20.8 million fewer life years lost. The largest gains are among younger cohorts, with a 0.5 gain in average life expectancy projected for the age 15 years cohort in 2016. Conclusions The tobacco control community has been divided regarding the role of e-cigarettes in tobacco control. Our projections show that a strategy of replacing cigarette smoking with vaping would yield substantial life year gains, even under pessimistic assumptions regarding cessation, initiation and relative harm.

Prevalence and correlates of smoking among people living with HIV in South Africa

Elf, J. L., Variava, E., Chon, S., Lebina, L., Motlhaoleng, K., Gupte, N., Niaura, R., Abrams, D., Golub, J. E., & Martinson, N.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

20

Issue

9

Page(s)

1124-1131
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Smoking likely exacerbates comorbidities which people living with HIV (PLWH) are predisposed. We assessed prevalence and correlates of smoking among PLWH in South Africa, which has 7 million PLWH but inadequate reporting of smoking. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among randomly selected adults with HIV infection in Klerksdorp, South Africa. Current smoking was assessed by questionnaire, exhaled carbon monoxide (eCO), and urine cotinine. Results: Of 1210 enrolled adults, 753 (62%) were women. In total, 409 (34%) self-reported ever smoking: 301 (74%) were current and 108 (26%) were former smokers. Using eCO and urine cotinine tests, 239 (52%) men and 100 (13%) women were defined as current smokers. Nearly all smokers (99%) were receiving ART, and had a median (IQR) CD4 count of 333 cells/μL (181-534), viral load of 31 IU/mL (25-4750), and BMI of 21 kg/m2 (19-24). Adjusted analysis among men showed higher odds of smoking with marijuana use (OR = 7.5, 95% CI = 4.1 to 14.6). Among women, 304 (43%) reported using snuff, compared to only 11 (3%) of men, and snuff use was inversely associated with smoking (OR = 0.1; 95% CI = 0.05 to 0.2). A subset of participants (n = 336) was asked about alcohol use, which was positively associated with smoking for men (OR = 8.1, 95% CI = 2.8 to 25.9) and women (OR = 8.5, 95% CI = 2.9 to 26.8). Conclusion: Smoking prevalence among PLWH in South Africa is alarmingly high. Prevention and cessation strategies that consider marijuana and alcohol use are needed. Implications: As long-term HIV care continues to improve, more people living with HIV (PLWH) will die of diseases, including tuberculosis, for which smoking plays an important causal role. The prevalence of smoking is markedly higher among PLWH in high-resource settings, but data for Africa and other low-resource settings that shoulder the brunt of the HIV epidemic has previously not been well documented. We report an alarmingly high prevalence of smoking among PLWH in South Africa, particularly among men, and a strong association between current smoking and use of other substances.

Public misperception that very low nicotine cigarettes are less carcinogenic

Justin Byron, M., Jeong, M., Abrams, D. B., & Brewer, N. T.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Tobacco control

Volume

27

Issue

6

Page(s)

712-714
Abstract
Abstract
Objective The USA is considering a very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarette standard. We sought to characterise the prevalence and correlates of the incorrect belief that VLNC cigarettes are less carcinogenic than current cigarettes, as this could reduce motivation to quit. Methods Participants were a nationally representative sample of 650 adult smokers in the USA. In 2015-2016, before the VLNC proposal became public, these smokers took part in an online survey. We used multivariate weighted analyses to calculate ORs and percentages and a Ï ‡ 2 test to examine the association between variables. Results Overall, 47.1% of smokers believed that smoking VLNC cigarettes for 30 years would be less likely to cause cancer than smoking current cigarettes. This misperception was more common among smokers who were aged above 55 (56.6%) and black (57.4%). Additionally, 23.9% of smokers reported they would be less likely to quit if the USA adopted a VLNC standard. Thinking that VLNC cigarettes would be less carcinogenic was associated with smokers reporting they would be less likely to quit (P<0.01). Conclusions Many smokers had the misperception that smoking VLNC cigarettes is less likely to cause cancer, and some stated that they would be less likely to quit. A VLNC standard may be more effective if accompanied by a communication campaign that emphasises the continued dangers of smoking VLNC cigarettes due to the many toxic chemicals in smoke.

Recommended core items to assess e-cigarette use in population-based surveys

Pearson, J. L., Hitchman, S. C., Brose, L. S., Bauld, L., Glasser, A. M., Villanti, A. C., McNeill, A., Abrams, D. B., & Cohen, J. E.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Tobacco control

Volume

27

Issue

3

Page(s)

341-346
Abstract
Abstract
A consistent approach using standardised items to assess e-cigarette use in both youth and adult populations will aid cross-survey and cross-national comparisons of the effect of e-cigarette (and tobacco) policies and improve our understanding of the population health impact of e-cigarette use. Focusing on adult behaviour, we propose a set of e-cigarette use items, discuss their utility and potential adaptation, and highlight e-cigarette constructs that researchers should avoid without further item development. Reliable and valid items will strengthen the emerging science and inform knowledge synthesis for policy-making. Building on informal discussions at a series of international meetings of 65 experts from 15 countries, the authors provide recommendations for assessing e-cigarette use behaviour, relative perceived harm, device type, presence of nicotine, flavours and reasons for use. We recommend items assessing eight core constructs: e-cigarette ever use, frequency of use and former daily use; relative perceived harm; device type; primary flavour preference; presence of nicotine; and primary reason for use. These items should be standardised or minimally adapted for the policy context and target population. Researchers should be prepared to update items as e-cigarette device characteristics change. A minimum set of e-cigarette items is proposed to encourage consensus around items to allow for cross-survey and cross-jurisdictional comparisons of e-cigarette use behaviour. These proposed items are a starting point. We recognise room for continued improvement, and welcome input from e-cigarette users and scientific colleagues.

Contact

da94@nyu.edu 715/719 Broadway New York, NY 10003