Raymond Niaura

Raymond Niaura
Raymond Niaura

Interim Chair of the Department of Epidemiology

Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Professional overview

Dr. Raymond Niaura is a psychologist and an expert on tobacco dependence and treatment, as well as substance use and addiction to alcohol. Dr. Niaura researches the biobehavioral substrates of tobacco dependence, including factors that influence adolescent and early adult tobacco use trajectories. He also evaluates behavioral and pharmacological treatments for tobacco cessation, with a particular interest in cessation in disadvantaged population to address public health disparities in tobacco-related burdens of illness and disability.

For eight year, Dr. Niaura was the Director of Science and Training at the Schroeder Institute (SI) for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the Truth Initiative, where he also supervised the pre- and post-doctoral training programs. Dr. Niaura has previously taught and conducted research at Brown University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Georgetown Medical Center, and the School of Public Health at University of Maryland. He was also a former President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco and is  a Deputy Editor of the Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

With grants from the National Institutes of Health, numerous foundations, and private industry, Dr. Niaura has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles, commentaries, and book chapters, including the book The Tobacco Dependence Treatment Handbook: A Guide to Best Practices.

Education

BA, Psychology (First Class Honors), McGill University, Montreal, Canada
MS, Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
PhD, Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Honors and awards

Research Laureate, American Academy of Health Behavior (2009)
University Scholar Award, McGill University (1979)

Areas of research and study

Alcohol, Tobacco and Driving Policies
Evaluations
Health Disparities
Substance Abuse
Tobacco Control

Publications

Publications

E-cigarettes and Smoking Cessation in the United States According to Frequency of E-cigarette Use and Quitting Duration: Analysis of the 2016 and 2017 National Health Interview Surveys

Farsalinos, K. E., & Niaura, R.

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Volume

22

Issue

5

Page(s)

655-662
Abstract
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use and smoking cessation among US adults. Duration of smoking cessation was taken into consideration because e-cigarette awareness and use were low in the United States before 2010. METHODS: A pooled analysis of the 2016 and 2017 National Health Interview Surveys on current (N = 9935) and former smokers (N = 14 754) was performed. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs), for sociodemographic factors, were calculated. FINDINGS: Current e-cigarette use was reported by 10.5% (95% CI = 9.8% to 11.3%) of current smokers and 4.5% (95% CI = 4.0% to 5.0%) of former smokers. Prevalence was high in former smokers of less than 1 year (16.8%, 95% CI = 13.9% to 20.2%), 1-3 years (15.0%, 95% CI = 13.0% to 17.3%), and 4-6 years (10.5%, 95% CI = 8.6% to 12.7%), and very low in former smokers of more than 6 years (0.7%, 95% CI = 0.5% to 0.9%). Similar patterns were observed for daily e-cigarette use. Current e-cigarette use was negatively associated with being a former smoker when quit duration was ignored (aPR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.59 to 0.69) but was positively associated with being a former smoker of less than 1 year (aPR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.12 to 1.84) and 1-3 years (aPR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.42). Daily e-cigarette use was not associated with being a former smoker when quit duration was ignored but was positively associated with being a former smoker of less than 1 year (aPR = 3.44, 95% CI = 2.63 to 4.49), 1-3 years (aPR = 2.51, 95% CI = 2.13 to 2.95), and 4-6 years (aPR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.49 to 2.26). CONCLUSIONS: Daily e-cigarette use is strongly associated with recent smoking cessation (≤6 years) among US adults. Frequency of e-cigarette use and smoking cessation duration are important parameters when analyzing the effects of e-cigarettes in population surveys. IMPLICATIONS: There is controversy on whether e-cigarettes promote or prevent smoking cessation. This study presents a detailed analysis of the association between e-cigarette use and smoking cessation in the United States considering frequency of e-cigarette use and duration of smoking cessation. The latter was considered appropriate because e-cigarette awareness and use were low in the United States before 2010. Daily e-cigarette use is strongly associated with recent (≤6 years) smoking cessation in the United States. Both frequency of e-cigarette use and duration of smoking cessation are important factors in determining the effects of e-cigarettes in population studies.

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

Niaura, R., Rich, I., Johnson, A. L., Villanti, A. C., Romberg, A. R., Hair, E. C., Vallone, D. M., & Abrams, D. B.

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Volume

22

Issue

5

Page(s)

647-654
Abstract
INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to describe tobacco and nicotine product use state transition probabilities among youth and young adults over time. METHODS: A national sample of young adult tobacco product users and nonusers between the ages of 18 and 34 years at baseline was surveyed at 6-month intervals for 3 years. Use and nonuse states were defined as mutually exclusive categories based on self-reported, past 30-day use of the various products. Never use, noncurrent use, and current use of combustible, noncombustible tobacco, and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products was assessed at each interval. A multistate model was fit to estimate transition probabilities between states and length of stay within each state. RESULTS: After 6 months, same-state transition probabilities were high for all use states (0.76-0.96), except for dual product use (0.48). After 3 years, transition probabilities were smaller and tended to converge toward combustible product use for baseline e-cigarette (0.42), combustible (0.51), and dual product users (0.52). Age was inversely associated with transition risk from never or noncurrent use to use of combustible or e-cigarette products. CONCLUSIONS: Never and noncurrent users, followed by combustible product users, were most likely to remain in those states throughout the 3-year observation interval. Users of any tobacco or e-cigarette product at baseline were most likely to transition to combustible product use or noncurrent use by the final follow-up. IMPLICATIONS: This study describes the probability of transitioning between various states of tobacco product use, including never and no current use, over a span of 3 years in a sample of young adults. This type of longitudinal description, which includes all tobacco product use states, is lacking in most studies that tend to focus on one or only a few products. The results suggest that it is important to assess outcomes over a sufficiently long period to capture true variability in patterns of product use.

A pilot randomized trial examining the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally tailored and adherence-enhancing intervention for Latino smokers in the U.S.

De Dios, M. A., Cano, M. Ángel, Vaughan, E. L., Childress, S. D., McNeel, M. M., Harvey, L. M., & Niaura, R. S.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

PloS one

Volume

14

Issue

1
Abstract
Latino smokers in the United States (US) are known to experience smoking cessation treatment disparities due to their under-utilization of services, limited access to health care, and poor smoking cessation treatment outcomes. A limited number of studies have focused on developing and testing smoking cessation treatments for Latino smokers in the US. The objectives of this study were to conduct a feasibility pilot randomized trial testing three smoking cessation interventions for Latinos. Twenty-five adult Latino smokers were randomized to one of three groups: Culturally-Tailored Smoking Cessation plus Adherence Enhancement (CT+AE), Culturally-Tailored Smoking Cessation (CTSC), and a Health Education (HE) control group. All participants received three counseling sessions along with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Data relating to intervention acceptability and NRT adherence were collected. Self-reported 7-day point prevalence smoking was collected at 3 and 6 month follow-up and biochemically verified with expired carbon monoxide testing. Overall, the interventions demonstrated high levels of feasibility and acceptability. Days of nicotine patch use were found to be higher in the CT+AE group (mean (M) = 81.3;standard deviation (SD) = 3.32) than the CTSC (M = 68.6;SD = 13.66) and HE (M = 64;SD = 17.70) groups. At 3-month follow-up, approximately 50% of the CT+AE group were smoking abstinent, 25% of the CTSC group, and 44% of the HE group. At 6-month follow-up, 37.5% of the CT+AE group were abstinent, 25% of the CTSC group, and 44.4% of the HE group. This study is the first to target Latino smokers in the US with a culturally-tailored intervention that addresses treatment adherence. Results support the preliminary feasibility and acceptability of the CT+AE intervention.

An African-specific haplotype in MRGPRX4 is associated with menthol cigarette smoking

Kozlitina, J., Risso, D., Lansu, K., Olsen, R. H. J., Sainz, E., Luiselli, D., Barik, A., Frigerio-Domingues, C., Pagani, L., Wooding, S., Kirchner, T., Niaura, R., Roth, B., & Drayna, D.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

PLoS genetics

Volume

15

Issue

2
Abstract
In the U.S., more than 80% of African-American smokers use mentholated cigarettes, compared to less than 30% of Caucasian smokers. The reasons for these differences are not well understood. To determine if genetic variation contributes to mentholated cigarette smoking, we performed an exome-wide association analysis in a multiethnic population-based sample from Dallas, TX (N = 561). Findings were replicated in an independent cohort of African Americans from Washington, DC (N = 741). We identified a haplotype of MRGPRX4 (composed of rs7102322[G], encoding N245S, and rs61733596[G], T43T), that was associated with a 5-to-8 fold increase in the odds of menthol cigarette smoking. The variants are present solely in persons of African ancestry. Functional studies indicated that the variant G protein-coupled receptor encoded by MRGPRX4 displays reduced agonism in both arrestin-based and G protein-based assays, and alteration of agonism by menthol. These data indicate that genetic variation in MRGPRX4 contributes to inter-individual and inter-ethnic differences in the preference for mentholated cigarettes, and that the existence of genetic factors predisposing vulnerable populations to mentholated cigarette smoking can inform tobacco control and public health policies.

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

Sawdey, M. D., Day, H. R., Coleman, B., Gardner, L. D., Johnson, S. E., Limpert, J., Hammad, H. T., Goniewicz, M. L., Abrams, D. B., Stanton, C. A., Pearson, J. L., Kaufman, A. R., Kimmel, H. L., Delnevo, C. D., Compton, W. M., Bansal-Travers, M., Niaura, R. S., Hyland, A., & Ambrose, B. K.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Addictive Behaviors

Volume

91

Page(s)

51-60
Abstract
Introduction: Improved understanding of the distribution of traditional risk factors of cigarette smoking among youth who have ever used or are susceptible to e-cigarettes and cigarettes will inform future longitudinal studies examining transitions in use. Methods: Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted using data from youth (ages 12–17 years) who had ever heard of e-cigarettes at baseline of the PATH Study (n = 12,460) to compare the distribution of risk factors for cigarette smoking among seven mutually exclusive groups based on ever cigarette/e-cigarette use and susceptibility status. Results: Compared to committed never users, youth susceptible to e-cigarettes, cigarettes, or both had increasing odds of risk factors for cigarette smoking, with those susceptible to both products at highest risk, followed by cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Compared to e-cigarette only users, dual users had higher odds of nearly all risk factors (aOR range = 1.6–6.8) and cigarette only smokers had higher odds of other (non-e-cigarette) tobacco use (aOR range = 1.5–2.3), marijuana use (aOR = 1.9, 95%CI = 1.4–2.5), a high GAIN substance use score (aOR = 1.9, 95%CI = 1.1–3.4), low academic achievement (aOR range = 1.6–3.4), and exposure to smoking (aOR range = 1.8–2.1). No differences were observed for externalizing factors (depression, anxiety, etc.), sensation seeking, or household use of non-cigarette tobacco. Conclusions: Among ever cigarette and e-cigarette users, dual users had higher odds of reporting traditional risk factors for smoking, followed by single product cigarette smokers and e-cigarette users. Understanding how e-cigarette and cigarette users differ may inform youth tobacco use prevention efforts and advise future studies assessing probability of progression of cigarette and e-cigarette use.

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

Moran, M. B., Heley, K., Pierce, J. P., Niaura, R., Strong, D., & Abrams, D.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Health Communication

Volume

34

Issue

3

Page(s)

280-289
Abstract
The role of tobacco marketing in tobacco use, particularly among the vulnerable ethnic and socioeconomic sub-populations is a regulatory priority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There currently exist both ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the use of tobacco products. Monitoring such inequalities in exposure to tobacco marketing is essential to inform tobacco regulatory policy that may reduce known tobacco-related health disparities. We use data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Wave 1 youth survey to examine (1) recalled exposure to and liking of tobacco marketing for cigarettes, non-large cigars, and e-cigarettes, (2) self-reported exposure to specific tobacco marketing tactics, namely coupons, sweepstakes, and free samples, and (3) self-reported impact of tobacco marketing and promotions on product use. Findings indicate that African Americans and those of lower SES were more likely to recall having seen cigarette and non-large cigar ads. Reported exposure to coupons, sweepstakes and free samples also varied ethnically and socioeconomically. African Americans and those of lower SES were more likely than other respondents to report that marketing and promotions as played a role in their tobacco product use. Better understanding of communication inequalities and their influence on product use is needed to inform tobacco regulatory action that may reduce tobacco company efforts to target vulnerable groups. Tobacco education communication campaigns focusing on disproportionately affected groups could help counter the effects of targeted industry marketing.

Is e-cigarette use associated with coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction? Insights from the 2016 and 2017 National Health Interview Surveys

Farsalinos, K. E., Polosa, R., Cibella, F., & Niaura, R.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease

Volume

10
Abstract
Background: This study analyzed the National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) of 2016 (n = 33,028) and 2017 (n = 26,742) to examine whether e-cigarette use is consistently associated with myocardial infarction (MI) and coronary heart disease (CHD). Methods: Surveys were examined separately and pooled. Logistic regression analysis was used, with demographics, e-cigarette use, smoking and risk factors for CHD (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes) being independent variables. Former smokers were subclassified according to quit duration (⩽ 6 and > 6 years). Results: For MI, an association was observed with some days e-cigarette (but not daily) use in the 2017 survey (OR: 2.11, 95% CI: 1.14–3.88, p = 0.017). No statistically significant association was observed in the pooled analysis (daily e-cigarette use: OR: 1.35, 95% CI: 0.80–2.27, p = 0.267). For CHD, an association was observed with daily e-cigarette use in the 2016 survey (OR: 1.89, 95% CI: 1.01–3.53, p = 0.047). From the pooled analysis, no association was found between any pattern of e-cigarette use and CHD. In single-year and pooled analysis, both MI and CHD were strongly associated with all patterns of smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and age. Conclusions: The pooled analysis of the 2016 and 2017 NHIS showed no association between e-cigarette use and MI or CHD. The associations between established risk factors, including smoking, and both conditions were remarkably consistent. The inconsistent associations observed in single-year surveys and the cross-sectional design of the NHIS cannot substantiate any link between e-cigarette use and an elevated risk for MI or CHD. Longitudinal studies are needed to explore the effects of e-cigarette use on cardiovascular disease.

Latent Classes of Nicotine Beliefs Correlate with Perceived Susceptibility and Severity of Nicotine and Tobacco Products in US young adults

Villanti, A. C., Naud, S., West, J. C., Pearson, J. L., Wackowski, O. A., Hair, E., Rath, J. M., & Niaura, R. S.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Volume

21

Page(s)

S91-S100
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Pervasive misperceptions about nicotine may influence uptake of quit smoking aids and the impact of policies addressing nicotine as a tobacco product constituent. METHODS: Latent class analyses were conducted using four items on nicotine beliefs asked of 4037 adults aged 18-40 in wave 9 (February-March 2016) of the Truth Initiative Young Adult Cohort Study. Confirmatory factor analyses identified three factors from 12 items: nicotine susceptibility (NSUS), nicotine severity (NSEV), and tobacco severity (TSEV). Analyses assessed correlations between latent classes, sociodemographics, and nicotine/tobacco factor scores. RESULTS: A four-class model of nicotine beliefs was the best fit, with the largest class believing that nicotine plays a major part in smoking risks (class 1, n = 2070; 52%). Class 2 shared that belief but also responded "Don't know" to addiction questions (class 2, n = 382; 11%). Fewer belonged in class 3, who reported that nicotine plays a small part in health risks (n = 1277; 30%), and class 4, who perceived nicotine as not cancer causing (n = 308; 7%). Latent class membership was correlated with sociodemographics, peer smoking, and past 30-day tobacco use. Classes 1 and 2 had similar NSUS scores and classes 3 and 4 had similar NSEV and TSEV scores. DISCUSSION: Differences in the perceptions of nicotine and tobacco-related harms can be partially explained by clustering of underlying nicotine beliefs. These classes of beliefs are correlated with sociodemographic predictors of smoking. These findings may help to identify specific beliefs or groups to be targeted by public education efforts on nicotine. IMPLICATIONS: The current study supports that underlying nicotine beliefs are associated with perceived harms of specific nicotine and tobacco products (relative to cigarettes), with greater false beliefs about nicotine correlated with greater perceived susceptibility to nicotine addiction. Two important inferences emerge from this study: first, that education to address nicotine beliefs may also reframe perceptions of the harms of nicotine and tobacco products; and second, that this type of education may differentially impact perceptions of the harms of nicotine products (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy and e-cigarettes) and tobacco products (e.g., cigars, smokeless, and hookah).

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
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.

Marketing Influences on Perceptions of Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes

Johnson, A. C., Mays, D., Villanti, A. C., Niaura, R. S., Rehberg, K., Phan, L., Mercincavage, M., Luta, G., & Strasser, A. A.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Volume

21

Page(s)

S117-S124
Abstract
INTRODUCTION: The Food and Drug Administration announced intent to reduce the nicotine content in cigarettes. There is limited evidence on how reduced nicotine content cigarette (RNC) marketing affects product beliefs and use, and research on this is needed to inform regulations. METHODS: In an online experiment, 426 young adult cigarette smokers (aged 18-30 years) were randomized in a 2 (implicit: red package vs. blue package) × 2 (explicit: corrective message vs. no corrective message) design to view an advertisement for previously commercially available RNCs. Outcomes were advertisement content recall, product beliefs, and use intentions. Participants' responses to open-ended assessment of their beliefs about the stimuli were coded to identify prevailing themes. RESULTS: Red packaging and corrective messaging were independently associated with greater advertisement content recall (p = .01 and p = .04, respectively). There were no significant main or interaction effects on product beliefs or use intentions. Controlling for condition, advertisement content recall was significantly associated with less favorable product beliefs (p < .001) and favorable product beliefs were associated with intent to use the product (p < .001). Open-ended responses converged on the finding that respondents were interested in RNCs, but expressed skepticism about effectiveness and value. CONCLUSIONS: Brief exposure to an RNC advertisement with red packaging and corrective messaging were each independently associated with greater advertisement content recall. The results indicate: (1) interest and confusion among young adult smokers regarding RNCs, (2) beliefs about RNCs are influenced by marketing, and (3) beliefs are associated with intention to use RNCs. IMPLICATIONS: Findings from this study demonstrate the importance of advertising effects on beliefs about RNC products and support the need to regulate advertising and labeling alongside product regulation. More detailed study of advertisement features that affect consumers' beliefs about RNCs and how they impact their processing of explicit messaging about product risks will be important to guide regulatory decision-making.

Nicotine maintenance for smokers in methadone treatment: a new direction

De Dios, M. A., Cano, M. Ángel, Vaughan, E. L., McNeel, M. M., Childress, S., & Niaura, R.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Addiction Research and Theory

Volume

27

Issue

4

Page(s)

269-276
Abstract
Patients of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) exhibit an exceedingly high prevalence of tobacco use and disproportionately suffer from tobacco-related illnesses and mortality. A number of studies have sought to target MMT smokers with cessation interventions utilizing a variety of behavioral and pharmacological treatments. Such efforts have struggled to attain even modest rates of cessation at follow-up, suggesting a need for novel approaches. In an effort to accelerate this area of research, the current article proposes an alternative paradigm for MMT smokers: Nicotine Maintenance. The proposed model emphasizes five domains aimed at advancing the contextual fit between smoking cessation treatment and MMT: (1) A harm reduction and maintenance orientation; (2) a reconsideration of abstinence-oriented frameworks and techniques; (3) a longer-term perspective; (4) greater integration with the MMT treatment milieu; and (5) approaches that address the unique needs of MMT patients including shame, stigma, and the enhancement of treatment autonomy.

Prevalence and correlates of nicotine and nicotine product perceptions in U.S. young adults, 2016

Villanti, A. C., Naud, S., West, J. C., Pearson, J. L., Wackowski, O. A., Niaura, R. S., Hair, E., & Rath, J. M.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Addictive Behaviors

Volume

98
Abstract
Introduction: Nicotine is not a human carcinogen and combustion compounds in tobacco smoke, rather than nicotine, cause tobacco-related cardiovascular disease. Few recent studies examine the public's beliefs about nicotine in relation to smoking. Methods: Participants aged 18-40 (n = 4,091) in Wave 10 (Fall 2016) of the Truth Initiative Young Adult Cohort Study responded to nineteen items on nicotine and nicotine product perceptions, including addictiveness and health harms of nicotine patch/gum and e-cigarettes compared to cigarettes. Analyses conducted in 2018 examined prevalence of perceptions and sociodemographic and tobacco use correlates of selected perceptions. Results: The majority of young adults reported that nicotine was responsible for a “relatively” or “very large” part of the health risks (66%) and cancer (60%) caused by smoking. More than half of young adults (55%) believed that nicotine is a cause of cancer. Between 23% and 43% of young adults responded “don't know” to items on nicotine. Females, blacks, Hispanics, and those with less than some college education were more likely to report true or “don't know” vs. false to “nicotine is a cause of cancer” and had higher odds of believing that nicotine was responsible for a “relatively” or “very large” part of the health risks of smoking and cancer caused by smoking. Past 30-day tobacco users had lower odds of reporting these beliefs. Conclusions: Misperceptions of nicotine are widespread in young adults. Public education is needed to maximize the public health impact of FDA's required nicotine warning label and proposed nicotine reduction policies.

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
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.

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
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.

The Effects of Varying Electronic Cigarette Warning Label Design Features On Attention, Recall, and Product Perceptions Among Young Adults

Mays, D., Villanti, A., Niaura, R. S., Lindblom, E. N., & Strasser, A. A.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Health Communication

Volume

34

Issue

3

Page(s)

317-324
Abstract
This study was a 3 (Brand: Blu, MarkTen, Vuse) by 3 (Warning Size: 20%, 30%, or 50% of advertisement surface) by 2 (Warning Background: White, Red) experimental investigation of the effects of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) warning label design features. Young adults aged 18–30 years (n = 544) were recruited online, completed demographic and tobacco use history measures, and randomized to view e-cigarette advertisements with warning labels that varied by the experimental conditions. Participants completed a task assessing self-reported visual attention to advertisements with a-priori regions of interest defined around warning labels. Warning message recall and perceived addictiveness of e-cigarettes were assessed post-exposure. Approximately half of participants reported attending to warning labels and reported attention was greater for warnings on red versus white backgrounds. Recall of the warning message content was also greater among those reporting attention to the warning label. Overall, those who viewed warnings on red backgrounds reported lower perceived addictiveness than those who viewed warnings on white backgrounds, and e-cigarette users reported lower perceived addictiveness than non-users. Among e-cigarette users, viewing warnings on white backgrounds produced perceptions more similar to non-users. Greater recall was significantly correlated with greater perceived addictiveness. This study provides some of the first evidence that e-cigarette warning label design features including size and coloring affect self-reported attention and content recall.

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
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
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.

Communicating differences in tobacco product risks: Timing is of the essence

Niaura, R.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Addictive Behaviors

Volume

76

Page(s)

388-389

Comparison of Nicotine and Toxicant Exposure in Users of Electronic Cigarettes and Combustible Cigarettes

Goniewicz, M. L., Smith, D. M., Edwards, K. C., Blount, B. C., Caldwell, K. L., Feng, J., Wang, L., Christensen, C., Ambrose, B., Borek, N., Van Bemmel, D., Konkel, K., Erives, G., Stanton, C. A., Lambert, E., Kimmel, H. L., Hatsukami, D., Hecht, S. S., Niaura, R. S., Travers, M., Lawrence, C., & Hyland, A. J.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

JAMA network open

Volume

1

Issue

8

Page(s)

e185937
Abstract
Importance: Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is increasing. Measures of exposure to known tobacco-related toxicants among e-cigarette users will inform potential health risks to individual product users. Objectives: To estimate concentrations of tobacco-related toxicants among e-cigarette users and compare these biomarker concentrations with those observed in combustible cigarette users, dual users, and never tobacco users. Design, Setting, and Participants: A population-based, longitudinal cohort study was conducted in the United States in 2013-2014. Cross-sectional analysis was performed between November 4, 2016, and October 5, 2017, of biomarkers of exposure to tobacco-related toxicants collected by the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. Participants included adults who provided a urine sample and data on tobacco use (N = 5105). Exposures: The primary exposure was tobacco use, including current exclusive e-cigarette users (n = 247), current exclusive cigarette smokers (n = 2411), and users of both products (dual users) (n = 792) compared with never tobacco users (n = 1655). Main Outcomes and Measures: Geometric mean concentrations of 50 individual biomarkers from 5 major classes of tobacco product constituents were measured: nicotine, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Results: Of the 5105 participants, most were aged 35 to 54 years (weighted percentage, 38%; 95% CI, 35%-40%), women (60%; 95% CI, 59%-62%), and non-Hispanic white (61%; 95% CI, 58%-64%). Compared with exclusive e-cigarette users, never users had 19% to 81% significantly lower concentrations of biomarkers of exposure to nicotine, TSNAs, some metals (eg, cadmium and lead), and some VOCs (including acrylonitrile). Exclusive e-cigarette users showed 10% to 98% significantly lower concentrations of biomarkers of exposure, including TSNAs, PAHs, most VOCs, and nicotine, compared with exclusive cigarette smokers; concentrations were comparable for metals and 3 VOCs. Exclusive cigarette users showed 10% to 36% lower concentrations of several biomarkers than dual users. Frequency of cigarette use among dual users was positively correlated with nicotine and toxicant exposure. Conclusions and Relevance: Exclusive use of e-cigarettes appears to result in measurable exposure to known tobacco-related toxicants, generally at lower levels than cigarette smoking. Toxicant exposure is greatest among dual users, and frequency of combustible cigarette use is positively correlated with tobacco toxicant concentration. These findings provide evidence that using combusted tobacco cigarettes alone or in combination with e-cigarettes is associated with higher concentrations of potentially harmful tobacco constituents in comparison with using e-cigarettes alone.

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
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.

E-Cigarette Science and Its Relevance for Regulatory Actions and Policy

Niaura, R.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Volume

20

Issue

8

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
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.

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
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
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.

Longitudinal associations between youth tobacco and substance use in waves 1 and 2 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

Silveira, M. L., Conway, K. P., Green, V. R., Kasza, K. A., Sargent, J. D., Borek, N., Stanton, C. A., Cohn, A., Hilmi, N., Cummings, K. M., Niaura, R. S., Lambert, E. Y., Brunette, M. F., Zandberg, I., Tanski, S. E., Reissig, C. J., Callahan-Lyon, P., Slavit, W. I., Hyland, A. J., & Compton, W. M.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Drug and alcohol dependence

Volume

191

Page(s)

25-36
Abstract
Background: While evidence suggests bidirectional associations between cigarette use and substance (alcohol or drug) use, how these associations are reflected across the range of currently available tobacco products is unknown. This study examined whether ever tobacco use predicted subsequent substance use, and ever substance use predicted subsequent tobacco use among 11,996 U.S. youth (12–17 years) from Waves 1 (2013–2014) and 2 (2014–2015) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Methods: Ever use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, traditional cigars, cigarillos, filtered cigars, pipe, hookah, snus pouches, smokeless tobacco excluding snus pouches, dissolvable tobacco, bidis, kreteks, alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and other drugs (cocaine and other stimulants, heroin, inhalants, solvents, and hallucinogens) was assessed at Wave 1 followed by past 12-month use assessments at Wave 2. The analyses included covariates (demographics, mental health, sensation seeking, prior use) to mitigate confounding. Results: Ever tobacco use predicted subsequent substance use. The magnitude of the associations was lowest for alcohol, higher for marijuana, and highest for other drugs. Ever substance use also predicted subsequent tobacco use. Specifically, ever alcohol, marijuana, and non-prescribed Ritalin/Adderall use predicted tobacco-product use. Ever e-cigarette and cigarette use exclusively and concurrently predicted subsequent any drug (including and excluding alcohol) use. E-cigarette and cigarette use associations in the opposite direction were also significant; the strongest associations were observed for exclusive cigarette use. Conclusion: Tobacco and substance use prevention efforts may benefit from comprehensive screening and interventions across tobacco products, alcohol, and drugs, and targeting risk factors shared across substances.

Contact

rn54@nyu.edu +1 (212) 992-3713 715/719 Broadway New York, NY 10003