Raymond Niaura

Raymond Niaura
Raymond Niaura

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

Evaluations
Health Disparities
Substance Abuse
Tobacco Control

Publications

Publications

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

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., Abrams, D., & 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., Pearson, J. L., Glasser, A. M., Collins, L. K., & Abrams, D.

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.

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., 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.

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

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

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Preventive Medicine
Abstract
Tobacco control has made strides in prevention and cessation, but deaths will not decline rapidly without massive behavior change. Currently, inhaled smoke from combusting tobacco is chiefly responsible for prematurely killing 7.2 million people worldwide and 530,000 in the United States annually. An array of noncombustible nicotine products (NNPs) has emerged and has disrupted the marketplace. Saving lives more speedily will require societal acceptance of locating a “sweet spot” within a three-dimensional framework where NNPs are simultaneously: 1. Less toxic, 2. Appealing (can reach smokers at scale), and 3. Satisfying (adequate nicotine delivery) to displace smoking. For this harm minimization framework to eliminate smoking, a laser focus on “smoking control” (not general tobacco control) is needed. By adopting these economically viable NNPs as part of the solution, NNPs can be smoking control's valued ally. Synthesis of the science indicates that policy and regulation can sufficiently protect youth while speeding the switch away from smoking. Despite some risks of nicotine dependence that can be mitigated but not eliminated, no credible evidence counters the assertion that NNPs will save lives if they displace smoking. But scientific evidence and advocacy has selectively exaggerated NNP harms over benefits. Accurate communication is crucial to dispel the misperception of NNPs harms and reassure smokers they can successfully replace smoking cigarettes with NNPs. Saving more lives now is an attainable and pragmatic way to call for alignment of all stakeholders and factions within traditional tobacco control rather than perpetuate the unrealized and unrealizable perfection of nicotine prohibition.

Patterns of nicotine and tobacco product use in youth and young adults in the United States, 2011-2015

Johnson, A. L., Collins, L. K., Villanti, A. C., Pearson, J. L., & Niaura, R.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

20

Page(s)

S48-S54
Abstract
Introduction As cigarette smoking has decreased among youth and young adults (YAs) in the United States, the prevalence of other tobacco and nicotine product use has increased. Methods This study identified common past 30-day patterns of tobacco and nicotine product use in youth (grades 6-12) and YAs (aged 18-24). Using data from the 2011-2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) and corresponding years of the Truth Initiative Young Adult Cohort Study (TIYAC), past 30-day use of the following products was assessed: Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, any type of cigar, smokeless tobacco, hookah, and other tobacco products (pipe, bidis, kreteks, dissolvable tobacco, and snus). A user-generated program in R was used to assess all possible combinations of product-specific and polytobacco use. Results The top five patterns of past 30-day use in youth were exclusive cigarette use (12.0%), exclusive cigar use (10.3%), exclusive e-cigarette use (10.0%), dual use of cigarettes and cigars (6.1%), and exclusive hookah use (5.2%). In YAs, the top five patterns were exclusive cigarette use (46.5%), exclusive cigar use (10.0%), dual use of cigarettes and cigars (6.4%), exclusive hookah use (5.9%), and dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes (3.9%). Conclusions As noncigarette tobacco and nicotine products become increasingly popular among tobacco users, further research is needed to identify predictors and correlates of specific tobacco use patterns in youth and YAs. This analysis can inform tobacco prevention efforts focusing on emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and hookah. Educational and other intervention efforts should focus on the diversity of products and use patterns in these age groups. Implications This study uses population-based data to provide new information on the most prevalent patterns of past 30-day nicotine and tobacco use over a 5-year period among youth and young adults. Study findings demonstrate that youth and young adults report using tobacco and nicotine products in different combinations, with varying popularity over time. Additionally, by examining young adults as a separate group, this study highlights the unique patterns of use not previously discussed in the adult literature.

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.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

27

Issue

1

Page(s)

18-25
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
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.

Preventing Smoking Progression in Young Adults: the Concept of Prevescalation

Villanti, A. C., Niaura, R., Abrams, D., & Mermelstein, R.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Prevention Science

Page(s)

1-8
Abstract
As adolescents cross the threshold to young adulthood, they encounter more opportunities to engage in or accelerate previously discouraged or prohibited behaviors. Young adults, therefore, are more apt to initiate cigarette smoking and, more importantly, to accelerate their use if they tried and experimented as an adolescent. Preventing the escalation and entrenchment of smoking in the young adult years is critically important to reducing tobacco’s long-term health toll. However, traditional interventions for youth have focused on preventing smoking initiation, and interventions for adults have focused on smoking cessation; both have failed to address the needs of young adults. We introduce the concept of “prevescalation” to capture the need and opportunity to prevent the escalation of risk behaviors that typically occur during young adulthood, with a focus on the example of cigarette smoking. Prevescalation negates the notion that prevention has failed if tobacco experimentation occurs during adolescence and focuses on understanding and interrupting transitions between experimentation with tobacco products and established tobacco use that largely occur during young adulthood. However, since risk behaviors often co-occur in young people, the core concept of prevescalation may apply to other behaviors that co-occur and become harder to change in later adulthood. We present a new framework for conceptualizing, developing, and evaluating interventions that better fit the unique behavioral, psychosocial, and socio-environmental characteristics of the young adult years. We discuss the need to target this transitional phase, what we know about behavioral pathways and predictors of cigarette smoking, potential intervention considerations, and research challenges.

Qualitative exploration of a smoking cessation trial for people living with HIV in South Africa

Krishnan, N., Gittelsohn, J., Ross, A., Elf, J., Chon, S., Niaura, R., Martinson, N., & Golub, J. E.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

20

Issue

9

Page(s)

1117-1123
Abstract
Introduction: In South Africa, people living with HIV have a high prevalence of smoking, which undermines the beneficial effects of antiretroviral therapy. However, little is known about barriers to smoking cessation and what interventions work for people living with HIV in this setting. Methods: A randomized trial comparing intensive anti-smoking counseling versus counseling and nicotine replacement therapy was recently concluded in Klerksdorp, South Africa. In a post-trial follow-up, 23 in-depth interviews with patients and one focus group discussion with counselors from the trial were conducted. A codebook was developed and codes were applied to the transcripts, which were analyzed using a thematic analysis. Results: Barriers at the economic, social/interpersonal, and individual levels induced stress, which hindered smoking cessation. Economic stressors included unemployment and poverty. Social or interpersonal stressors were lack of social support for quitting smoking and lack of social support due to having HIV. Individual stressors were traumatic life events. Alcohol was used to cope with stress and frequently co-occurred with smoking. Managing cravings was a barrier unrelated to stress. Participants proposed income and employment opportunities, group counseling, and more frequent counseling as solutions to address stressors at different levels. Nicotine replacement therapy was helpful to mitigate cravings. Conclusions: Future smoking cessation interventions need to target barriers at multiple levels. Increasing the supply and duration of nicotine replacement therapy may increase its effectiveness. Other behavioral approaches such as group counseling or peer counseling could hold promise in this setting but need to be tested for efficacy through randomized controlled trials. Implications: To our knowledge, this is the first qualitative study examining barriers to smoking cessation for people living with HIV in South Africa. Smoking is highly prevalent among people with HIV in South Africa and cessation interventions are urgently needed. A better understanding of barriers to smoking cessation that people with HIV face will lead to the development of contextually appropriate interventions. This study also provides feedback on interventions from a recently concluded smoking cessation randomized trial and will help guide the design of future smoking cessation trials.

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., Kimmel, H. L., Borek, N., Compton, W. M., & Hyland, A.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Tobacco Control
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.

A framework for evaluating the public health impact of e-cigarettes and other vaporized nicotine products

Levy, D. T., Cummings, K. M., Villanti, A. C., Niaura, R., Abrams, D., Fong, G. T., & Borland, R.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Addiction

Volume

112

Issue

1

Page(s)

8-17
Abstract
The use of vaporized nicotine products (VNPs), especially e-cigarettes and, to a lesser extent, pressurized aerosol nicotine products and heat-not-burn tobacco products, are being adopted increasingly as an alternative to smoking combusted products, primarily cigarettes. Considerable controversy has accompanied their marketing and use. We propose a framework that describes and incorporates patterns of VNP and combustible cigarette use in determining the total amount of toxic exposure effects on population health. We begin by considering toxicity and the outcomes relevant to population health. We then present the framework and define different measures of VNP use; namely, trial and long-term use for exclusive cigarette smokers, exclusive VNP and dual (cigarette and VNP) use. Using a systems thinking framework and decision theory we considered potential pathways for current, former and never users of VNPs. We then consider the evidence to date and the probable impacts of VNP use on public health, the potential effects of different policy approaches and the possible influence of the tobacco industry on VNP and cigarette use.

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., Glasser, A. M., Wang, B., Abrams, D., Cummings, K. M., & Hyland, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Addiction
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 32320 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.

Analysis of E-cigarette use in the 2014 Eurobarometer survey: calling out deficiencies in epidemiology methods

Polosa, R., Caponnetto, P., Niaura, R., & Abrams, D.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Internal and Emergency Medicine

Volume

12

Issue

6

Page(s)

733-735

Crowdsourced data collection for public health: A comparison with nationally representative, population tobacco use data

Kraemer, J. D., Strasser, A. A., Lindblom, E. N., Niaura, R., & Mays, D.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Preventive Medicine

Volume

102

Page(s)

93-99
Abstract
Introduction Internet-based crowdsourcing is increasingly used for social and behavioral research in public health, however the potential generalizability of crowdsourced data remains unclear. This study assessed the population representativeness of Internet-based crowdsourced data. Methods A total of 3999 U.S. young adults ages 18 to 30 years were recruited in 2016 through Internet-based crowdsourcing to complete measures taken from the 2012–2013 National Adult Tobacco Survey (NATS). Post-hoc sampling weights were created using procedures similar to the NATS. Weighted analyses were conducted in 2016 to compare crowdsourced and publicly-available 2012–2013 NATS data on demographics, tobacco use, and measures of tobacco perceptions and product warning label exposure. Results Those in the crowdsourced sample were less likely to report an annual household income of $50,000 or greater, and e-cigarette, waterpipe, and cigar use were more prevalent in the crowdsourced sample. High proportions of both samples indicated cigarette smoking is very harmful and very addictive. Comparable proportions of non-smokers and smokers reported cigarette warning label exposure, however the likelihood of reporting that smoking is very harmful by frequency of warning label exposure was lower among smokers in the crowdsourced sample. Conclusions Our findings indicate that crowdsourced samples may differ demographically and may not produce generalizable estimates of tobacco use prevalence relative to population data after post-hoc sample weighting. However, correlational analyses in crowdsourced samples may reasonably approximate population data. Future studies can build from this work by testing additional methodological strategies to improve crowdsourced sampling strategies.

Design and methods of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

Hyland, A., Ambrose, B. K., Conway, K. P., Borek, N., Lambert, E., Carusi, C., Taylor, K., Crosse, S., Fong, G. T., Michael Cummings, K., Abrams, D., Pierce, J. P., Sargent, J., Messer, K., Bansal-Travers, M., Niaura, R., Vallone, D., Hammond, D., Hilmi, N., Kwan, J., Piesse, A., Kalton, G., Lohr, S., Pharris-Ciurej, N., Castleman, V., Green, V. R., Tessman, G., Kaufman, A., Lawrence, C., Van Bemmel, D. M., Kimmel, H. L., Blount, B., Yang, L., O’Brien, B., Tworek, C., Alberding, D., Hull, L. C., Cheng, Y. C., Maklan, D., Backinger, C. L., & Compton, W. M.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

26

Issue

4

Page(s)

371-378
Abstract
Background This paper describes the methods and conceptual framework for Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study data collection. The National Institutes of Health, through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is partnering with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products to conduct the PATH Study under a contract with Westat. Methods The PATH Study is a nationally representative, longitudinal cohort study of 45 971 adults and youth in the USA, aged 12 years and older. Wave 1 was conducted from 12 September 2013 to 15 December 2014 using Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing to collect information on tobacco-use patterns, risk perceptions and attitudes towards current and newly emerging tobacco products, tobacco initiation, cessation, relapse behaviours and health outcomes. The PATH Study’s design allows for the longitudinal assessment of patterns of use of a spectrum of tobacco products, including initiation, cessation, relapse and transitions between products, as well as factors associated with use patterns. Additionally, the PATH Study collects biospecimens from consenting adults aged 18 years and older and measures biomarkers of exposure and potential harm related to tobacco use. Conclusions The cumulative, population-based data generated over time by the PATH Study will contribute to the evidence base to inform FDA’s regulatory mission under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and efforts to reduce the Nation’s burden of tobacco-related death and disease.

Determining non-cigarette tobacco, alcohol, and substance use typologies across menthol and non-menthol smokers using latent class analysis

Cohn, A., Johnson, A., Pearson, J., Rose, S., Ehlke, S., Ganz, O., & Niaura, R.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Tobacco Induced Diseases

Volume

15

Issue

1
Abstract
Background: Substance use and mental health are robustly associated with smoking and poor cessation outcomes, but not often examined in combination with menthol cigarette smoking, which is also associated with lower quit rates. This study identified classes of Black and White menthol and non-menthol cigarette smokers based on demographics, alcohol, drug, and other tobacco use behaviors. Methods: Using screening data from two studies, latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to classify n = 1177 menthol and non-menthol cigarette smokers on demographic characteristics, heavy smoking, alcohol and drug use, desire to quit smoking, other tobacco product use, and use of psychotropic medication. Results: Three latent classes were identified that differentiated smokers on substance use, menthol cigarette smoking, and other tobacco use behavior. One class consisted primarily of young adults who used a wide array of other tobacco products, reported the highest prevalence of other drug use, and showed the lowest desire to quit smoking cigarettes in the next 6-months. Class 2 comprised primarily of Black male menthol smokers, all of whom used cigarillos in addition to cigarettes, and who displayed moderate drug use. The third class was categorized as primarily older cigarette smokers, who engaged in very little other tobacco use or drug use, but who were most likely to self-report being prescribed psychotropic medication. Conclusions: LCA allowed for the identification of distinct classes of smokers based on factors related to poor cessation outcomes, including menthol use, that have not previously been examined in combination. Interventions should target specific groups of smokers, rather than take a "one size fits all" approach.

Electronic cigarette use among US adults in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, 2013-2014

Coleman, B. N., Rostron, B., Johnson, S. E., Ambrose, B. K., Pearson, J., Stanton, C. A., Wang, B., Delnevo, C., Bansal-Travers, M., Kimmel, H. L., Goniewicz, M. L., Niaura, R., Abrams, D., Conway, K. P., Borek, N., Compton, W. M., & Hyland, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Tobacco Control
Abstract
Background: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in the USA is increasing. As such, it is critical to understand who uses e-cigarettes, how e-cigarettes are used and what types of products are prevalent. This study assesses patterns of current e-cigarette use among daily and non-daily adult users in the 2013-2014 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study.Methods: We examined the proportion of current adult e-cigarette users (n=3642) reporting infrequent use (use on 'some days' and use on 0-2 of the past 30 days), moderate use (use on 'some days' and use on >2 of the past 30 days) and daily use. We examined demographic characteristics, use of other tobacco products and e-cigarette product characteristics overall and by use category. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) were calculated using Poisson regression to assess correlates of daily e-cigarette use.Results: Among the 5.5% of adult current e-cigarette users in the PATH Study, 42.2% reported infrequent use, 36.5% reported moderate use and 21.3% reported daily use. Cigarette smokers who quit in the past year were more likely to report daily e-cigarette use, compared with current smokers (aPR=3.21, 95% CI=2.75 to 3.76). Those who reported using rechargeable or refillable devices were more likely to report daily use compared with those who did not use these devices (aPR=1.95, 95% CI=1.44 to 2.65 and aPR=2.10, 95% CI=1.75 to 2.52, respectively).Conclusions: The majority of e-cigarette users in this study reported less than daily use. Compared with non-daily use, daily use was associated with being a former smoker; however, cross-sectional data limits our ability to establish the temporality or directionality of such associations.

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

2017

Journal title

Health Communication

Page(s)

1-10
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.

Facility-level, state, and financial factors associated with changes in the provision of smoking cessation services in US substance abuse treatment facilities: Results from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services 2006 to 2012

Cohn, A., Elmasry, H., & Niaura, R.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

Volume

77

Page(s)

107-114
Abstract
Cigarette smoking is common among patients in substance abuse treatment. Tobacco control programs have advocated for integrated tobacco dependence treatment into behavioral healthcare, including within substance abuse treatment facilities (SATFs) to reduce the public health burden of tobacco use. This study used data from seven waves (2006 to 2012) of the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (n = 94,145) to examine state and annual changes in the provision of smoking cessation services within US SATFs and whether changes over time could be explained by facility-level (private vs public ownership, receipt of earmarks, facility admissions, acceptance of government insurance) and state-level factors (cigarette tax per pack, smoke free policies, and percent of CDC recommended tobacco prevention spending). Results showed that the prevalence of SATFs offering smoking cessation services increased over time, from 13% to 65%. The amount of tax per cigarette pack, accepting government insurance, government (vs private) ownership, facility admissions, and CDC recommended tobacco prevention spending (per state) were the strongest correlates of the provision of smoking cessation programs in SATFs. Facilities that received earmarks were less likely to provide cessation services. Adult smoking prevalence and state-level smoke free policies were not significant correlates of the provision of smoking cessation services over time. Policies aimed at increasing the distribution of tax revenues to cessation services in SATFs may offset tobacco-related burden among those with substance abuse problems.

Flavored Tobacco Product Use in Youth and Adults: Findings From the First Wave of the PATH Study (2013–2014)

Villanti, A. C., Johnson, A. L., Ambrose, B. K., Cummings, K. M., Stanton, C. A., Rose, S. W., Feirman, S. P., Tworek, C., Glasser, A. M., Pearson, J. L., Cohn, A. M., Conway, K. P., Niaura, R., Bansal-Travers, M., & Hyland, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume

53

Issue

2

Page(s)

139-151
Abstract
Introduction The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act banned characterizing flavors other than menthol in cigarettes but did not restrict their use in other forms of tobacco (e.g., smokeless, cigars, hookah, e-cigarettes). Methods A cross-sectional analysis of Wave 1 data from 45,971 U.S. adults and youth, aged ≥12 years in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study collected in 2013–2014, was conducted in 2016. This study examined (1) the prevalence and reasons for use of flavored tobacco products; (2) the proportion of ever tobacco users reporting that their first product was flavored; and (3) correlates of current flavored tobacco product use. Results Current flavored (including menthol) tobacco product use was highest in youth (80%, aged 12–17 years); and young adult tobacco users (73%, aged 18–24 years); and lowest in older adult tobacco users aged ≥65 years (29%). Flavor was a primary reason for using a given tobacco product, particularly among youth. Eighty-one percent of youth and 86% of young adult ever tobacco users reported that their first product was flavored versus 54% of adults aged ≥25 years. In multivariable models, reporting that one's first tobacco product was flavored was associated with a 13% higher prevalence of current tobacco use among youth ever tobacco users and a 32% higher prevalence of current tobacco use among adult ever users. Conclusions These results add to the evidence base that flavored tobacco products may attract young users and serve as starter products to regular tobacco use.

Frequency of youth e-cigarette and tobacco use patterns in the United States: Measurement precision is critical to inform public health

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

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Issue

11

Page(s)

1345-1350
Abstract
Introduction: E-cigarette use occurs with tobacco product use in youth. Methods: Using the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), we examined past 30-day frequency of cigarette, cigar, smokeless, and e-cigarette use in the context of past 30-day and ever tobacco product use in US middle and high school students (N = 22 007). Frequency of productspecific use was examined by exclusive versus concurrent use with another product in the past 30 days (poly-use). Results: In 2014, the majority (83%) of US middle and high school students had not used tobacco or e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. In the 9.3% of youth reporting any past 30-day e-cigarette use, 63% also reported using a tobacco product; among the 3.3% past 30-day exclusive e-cigarette users, about two-thirds (2.1%) had ever used combustible or non-combustible tobacco products and one-third (1.2%) had not. Few never tobacco users had used e-cigarettes on 10 or more days in the past month (absolute percent < 0.1%). Among past 30-day cigarette and smokeless users, the two highest frequency categories were 1-2 days and daily use; among past 30-day e-cigarette and cigar users, prevalence decreased with increasing frequency of use. The majority of past 30-day cigarette, cigar, smokeless, and e-cigarette users reported poly-use. Conclusions: Prevalence estimates for a single product mask the complex patterns of frequency, temporality, and poly-use in youth. Two-thirds of past 30-day exclusive e-cigarette users have ever used tobacco. Poly-use is the dominant pattern of tobacco and e-cigarette use among US middle and high school students. Implications: Our study highlights the complexity of tobacco use patterns in US middle and high school students. Future studies addressing the full public health impact of movement into or out of combustible tobacco use will require longitudinal data with appropriate measures of tobacco and e-cigarette product-specific use (eg, frequency and intensity), as well as adequate sample size and a sufficient number of waves to determine how use of individual products, like e-cigarettes, impact progression into or out of more stable patterns of tobacco and e-cigarette use.

Improving adherence to smoking cessation treatment: Intervention effects in a web-based randomized trial

Graham, A. L., Papandonatos, G. D., Cha, S., Erar, B., Amato, M. S., Cobb, N. K., Niaura, R., & Abrams, D.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Issue

3

Page(s)

324-332
Abstract
Background: Web-based smoking cessation interventions can deliver evidence-based treatments to a wide swath of the population, but effectiveness is often limited by insufficient adherence to proven treatment components. This study evaluated the impact of a social network (SN) intervention and free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) on adherence to evidence-based components of smoking cessation treatment in the context of a Web-based intervention. Methods: A sample of adult U.S. smokers (N = 5290) was recruited via BecomeAnEX.org, a free smoking cessation Web site. Smokers were randomized to one of four arms: (1) an interactive, evidence-based smoking cessation Web site (WEB) alone; (2) WEB in conjunction with an SN intervention designed to integrate participants into the online community (WEB+SN); (3) WEB plus free NRT (WEB+NRT); and (4) the combination of all treatments (WEB+SN+NRT). Adherence outcomes assessed at 3-month follow-up were as follows: Web site utilization metrics, use of skills training components, intratreatment social support, and pharmacotherapy use. Results: WEB+SN+NRT outperformed all others on Web site utilization metrics, use of practical counseling tools, intratreatment social support, and NRT use. It was the only intervention to promote the sending of private messages and the viewing of community pages over WEB alone. Both social network arms outperformed WEB on most metrics of online community engagement. Both NRT arms showed higher medication use compared to WEB alone. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the effectiveness of two approaches for improving adherence to evidence-based components of smoking cessation treatment. Integrated approaches to medication provision and social network engagement can enhance adherence to components known to improve cessation. Implications: This study demonstrated that an integrated approach to medication provision and social network integration, when delivered through an online program, can enhance adherence across all three recommended components of an evidence-based smoking cessation program (skills training, social support, and pharmacotherapy use). Nicotine replacement therapy-when provided as part of an integrated program-increases adherence to other program elements, which in turn augment its own therapeutic effects. An explicit focus on approaches to improve treatment adherence is an important first step to identifying leverage points for optimizing intervention effectiveness.

Indicators of dependence for different types of tobacco product users: Descriptive findings from Wave 1 (2013–2014) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study

Strong, D. R., Pearson, J., Ehlke, S., Kirchner, T., Abrams, D., Taylor, K., Compton, W. M., Conway, K. P., Lambert, E., Green, V. R., Hull, L. C., Evans, S. E., Cummings, K. M., Goniewicz, M., Hyland, A., & Niaura, R.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Volume

178

Page(s)

257-266
Abstract
Background and aims With no established standard for assessing tobacco dependence (TD) across tobacco products in surveys, the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study provides a unique platform for examining the psychometric properties and validity of multiple indicators of tobacco dependence across a range of tobacco products. Participants A U.S. nationally representative sample from the 32,320 adult Wave 1 interviews with analyses focused on 14,287 respondents who were current established users of tobacco products. Findings This analysis confirms a single primary latent construct underlying responses to TD indicators for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco products. Mutually exclusive past year tobacco-user groups included: cigarette only (n = 8689), e-cigarette only (n = 437), cigar only (traditional, cigarillo, or filtered) (n = 706), hookah only (n = 461), smokeless tobacco only (n = 971), cigarette plus e-cigarette (n = 709), and multiple tobacco product users (n = 2314). Differential Item Functioning (DIF) analyses supported use of 16 of the 24 examined TD indicators for comparisons across tobacco users. With cigarette users as a reference (mean = 0.0, SD = 1.0), we observed a range of TD with hookah (mean = −1.71) and cigar (mean = −1.92) only users being the lowest, and cigarette plus e-cigarette product users being the highest (mean = 0.35). Regression models including sociodemographic factors supported concurrent validity with increased product use frequency and TD among cigarette-only (p < 0.001), e-cigarette only (p < 0.002), cigar (p < 0.001), hookah only (p < 0.001), and smokeless tobacco users (p < 0.001). Conclusion The PATH Study Adult Wave 1 Questionnaire provided psychometrically valid measures of TD that enables future regulatory investigations of nicotine dependence across tobacco products.

Misperceptions of harm among Natural American Spirit smokers: Results from wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study (2013-2014)

Pearson, J. L., Johnson, A., Villanti, A., Glasser, A. M., Collins, L., Cohn, A., Rose, S. W., Niaura, R., & Stanton, C. A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

26

Page(s)

e61-e67
Abstract
Introduction This study estimated differences in cigarette harm perceptions among smokers of the Natural American Spirit (NAS) brand-marketed as 'natural', 'organic' and 'additive-free'-compared to other smokers, and examined correlates of NAS use. Methods Data were drawn from wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, a nationally representative study of US adults (2013-2014). Weighted analyses using a subset of current adult smokers (n=10 565) estimated the prevalence of NAS use (vs all other brands) and examined associations between NAS use and sociodemographics, tobacco/substance use, tobacco harm perceptions, quit intentions, quit attempts and mental/behavioural health. Results Overall, 2.3% of adult smokers (920 000 people in the USA) reported NAS as their usual brand. Nearly 64% of NAS smokers inaccurately believed that their brand is less harmful than other brands compared to 8.3% of smokers of other brands, after controlling for potential confounders (aOR 22.82). Younger age (18-34 vs 35+; aOR 1.54), frequent thinking about tobacco harms (aOR 1.84), past 30-day alcohol use (aOR 1.57), past 30-day marijuana use (aOR 1.87) and sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual, 'other' or 'questioning' vs heterosexual; aOR 2.07) were also associated with increased odds of smoking NAS. Conclusions The majority of NAS smokers inaccurately believes that their cigarettes are less harmful than other brands. Given the brand's rapid growth and its more common use in vulnerable groups (eg, young adults, lesbian, gay, bisexual, 'other' or 'questioning' adults), corrective messaging and enforcement action are necessary to correct harm misperceptions of NAS cigarettes.

Contact

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