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

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.

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

Page(s)

e1007916
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.

Longitudinal Tobacco Use Transitions Among Adolescents and Young Adults: 2014-2016

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

Publication year

2019

Journal title

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

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.

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

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., Abrams, D., 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.

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

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.

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., Stanton, C. A., Pearson, J. L., Kaufman, A. R., Kimmel, H. L., Delnevo, C. D., Compton, W. M., Bansal-Travers, M., Niaura, R., Hyland, A., & Ambrose, B. K.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Addictive Behaviors
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.

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

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., 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., 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., 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.

Mental Health Problems and Onset of Tobacco Use Among 12- to 24-Year-Olds in the PATH Study

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

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Volume

57

Issue

12

Page(s)

944-954.e4
Abstract
Objective: To examine whether mental health problems predict incident use of 12 different tobacco products in a nationally representative sample of youth and young adults. Method: This study analyzed Wave (W) 1 and W2 data from 10,533 12- to 24-year-old W1 never tobacco users in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Self-reported lifetime internalizing and externalizing symptoms were assessed at W1. Past 12-month use of cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), traditional cigars, cigarillos, filtered cigars, pipe, hookah, snus pouches, other smokeless tobacco, bidis and kreteks (youth only), and dissolvable tobacco was assessed at W2. Results: In multivariable regression analyses, high-severity W1 internalizing (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.3−1.8) and externalizing (AOR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.1−1.5) problems predicted W2 onset of any tobacco use compared to no/low/moderate severity. High-severity W1 internalizing problems predicted W2 use onset across most tobacco products. High-severity W1 externalizing problems predicted onset of any tobacco (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.3−1.8), cigarettes (AOR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.0−2.0), ENDS (AOR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.5−2.1), and cigarillos (AOR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.0−2.1) among youth only. Conclusion: Internalizing and externalizing problems predicted onset of any tobacco use. However, findings differed for internalizing and externalizing problems across tobacco products, and by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. In addition to screening for tobacco product use, health care providers should screen for a range of mental health problems as a predictor of tobacco use. Interventions addressing mental health problems may prevent youth from initiating tobacco use.

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

2018

Journal title

Addiction Research and Theory
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.

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 Tobacco Product Use by U.S. Adults between 2013⁻2014 and 2014⁻2015: Findings from the PATH Study Wave 1 and Wave 2

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

Publication year

2018

Journal title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

15

Issue

11
Abstract
In 2013⁻2014, nearly 28% of adults in the United States (U.S.) were current tobacco users with cigarettes the most common product used and with nearly 40% of tobacco users using two or more tobacco products. We describe overall change in prevalence of tobacco product use and within-person transitions in tobacco product use in the U.S. between 2013⁻2014 and 2014⁻2015 for young adults (18⁻24 years) and older adults (25+ years). Data from Wave 1 (W1, 2013⁻2014) and Wave 2 (W2, 2014⁻2015) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study were analyzed (N = 34,235). Tobacco product types were categorized into: (1) combustible (cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah), (2) noncombustible (smokeless tobacco, snus pouches, dissolvable tobacco), and (3) electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Transitions for individual combustible-product types, and for single- and multiple-product use, were also considered. Overall prevalence of current tobacco use decreased from 27.6% to 26.3%. Among W1 non-tobacco users, 88.7% of young adults and 95.8% of older adults were non-tobacco users at W2. Among W1 tobacco users, 71.7% of young adults transitioned, with 20.7% discontinuing use completely, and 45.9% of older adults transitioned, with 12.5% discontinuing use completely. Continuing with/transitioning toward combustible product(s), particularly cigarettes, was more common than continuing with/transitioning toward ENDS. Tobacco use behaviors were less stable among young adults than older adults, likely reflecting greater product experimentation among young adults. Relative stability of cigarette use compared to other tobacco products (except older adult noncombustible use) demonstrates high abuse liability for cigarettes.

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.

Contact

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