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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

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
10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.01.028

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

Page(s)

8-17
10.1111/add.13394
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., … Hyland, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Addiction
10.1111/add.13952
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

Page(s)

733-735
10.1007/s11739-017-1667-z

Association of TAS2R38 haplotypes and menthol cigarette preference in an African American cohort

Risso, D., Sainz, E., Gutierrez, J., Kirchner, T., Niaura, R., & Drayna, D.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Page(s)

493-494
10.1093/ntr/ntw275

Computational models used to assess US tobacco control policies

Feirman, S.P., Glasser, A.M., Rose, S., Niaura, R., Abrams, D., Teplitskaya, L., & Villanti, A.C.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Page(s)

1257-1267
10.1093/ntr/ntx017
Abstract

Introduction: Simulation models can be used to evaluate existing and potential tobacco control interventions, including policies. The purpose of this systematic review was to synthesize evidence from computational models used to project population-level effects of tobacco control interventions. We provide recommendations to strengthen simulation models that evaluate tobacco control interventions. Methods: Studies were eligible for review if they employed a computational model to predict the expected effects of a non-clinical US-based tobacco control intervention. We searched five electronic databases on July 1, 2013 with no date restrictions and synthesized studies qualitatively. Results: Six primary non-clinical intervention types were examined across the 40 studies: taxation, youth prevention, smoke-free policies, mass media campaigns, marketing/advertising restrictions, and product regulation. Simulation models demonstrated the independent and combined effects of these interventions on decreasing projected future smoking prevalence. Taxation effects were the most robust, as studies examining other interventions exhibited substantial heterogeneity with regard to the outcomes and specific policies examined across models. Conclusions: Models should project the impact of interventions on overall tobacco use, including nicotine delivery product use, to estimate preventable health and cost-saving outcomes. Model validation, transparency, more sophisticated models, and modeling policy interactions are also needed to inform policymakers to make decisions that will minimize harm and maximize health. Implications: In this systematic review, evidence from multiple studies demonstrated the independent effect of taxation on decreasing future smoking prevalence, and models for other tobacco control interventions showed that these strategies are expected to decrease smoking, benefit population health, and are reasonable to implement from a cost perspective. Our recommendations aim to help policymakers and researchers minimize harm and maximize overall populationlevel health benefits by considering the real-world context in which tobacco control interventions are implemented.

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
10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.07.006
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., … Compton, W.M.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

26

Page(s)

371-378
10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-052934
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
10.1186/s12971-017-0111-5
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.

Developing consistent and transparent models of E-cigarette use: Reply to Glantz and Soneji et al.

Levy, D.T., Borland, R., Fong, G.T., Villanti, A.C., Niaura, R., Meza, R., … Abrams, D.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Page(s)

268-270
10.1093/ntr/ntw236

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., … Hyland, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Tobacco Control
10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-053462
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.

Erratum to: Analysis of E-cigarette use in the 2014 Eurobarometer survey: calling out deficiencies in epidemiology methods (Intern Emerg Med, 10.1007/s11739-017-1667-z)

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

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Internal and Emergency Medicine

Volume

12
10.1007/s11739-017-1685-x
Abstract

The article Analysis of E-cigarette use in the 2014 Eurobarometer survey: calling out deficiencies in epidemiology methods, written by Riccardo Polosa, Pasquale Caponnetto, Ray Niaura, David Abrams, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on May 5, 2017 without open access. With the author(s)’ decision to opt for Open Choice the copyright of the updated version is of June 30, 2017

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
10.1080/10410236.2017.1407227
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
10.1016/j.jsat.2017.03.014
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., … Hyland, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume

53

Page(s)

139-151
10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.026
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

Page(s)

1345-1350
10.1093/ntr/ntw388
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.

Frequency of youth e-cigarette, tobacco, and poly-use in the United States, 2015: Update to Villanti et al., "frequency of youth e-cigarette and tobacco use patterns in the United States: Measurement precision is critical to inform public health"

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

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Page(s)

1253-1254
10.1093/ntr/ntx073

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., … Abrams, D.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Page(s)

324-332
10.1093/ntr/ntw282
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., … Niaura, R.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Volume

178

Page(s)

257-266
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.05.010
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.

Learning from our failures in smoking cessation research

Niaura, R.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

19

Page(s)

889-890
10.1093/ntr/ntx150

Menthol cigarettes and the public health standard: A systematic review

Villanti, A.C., Collins, L.K., Niaura, R., Gagosian, S.Y., & Abrams, D.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

BMC Public Health

Volume

17
10.1186/s12889-017-4987-z
Abstract

Background: Although menthol was not banned under the Tobacco Control Act, the law made it clear that this did not prevent the Food and Drug Administration from issuing a product standard to ban menthol to protect public health. The purpose of this review was to update the evidence synthesis regarding the role of menthol in initiation, dependence and cessation. Methods: A systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature on menthol cigarettes via a PubMed search through May 9, 2017. The National Cancer Institute's Bibliography of Literature on Menthol and Tobacco and the FDA's 2011 report and 2013 addendum were reviewed for additional publications. Included articles addressing initiation, dependence, and cessation were synthesized based on study design and quality, consistency of evidence across populations and over time, coherence of findings across studies, and plausibility of the findings. Results: Eighty-two studies on menthol cigarette initiation (n = 46), dependence (n = 14), and cessation (n = 34) were included. Large, representative studies show an association between menthol and youth smoking that is consistent in magnitude and direction. One longitudinal and eight cross-sectional studies demonstrate that menthol smokers report increased nicotine dependence compared to non-menthol smokers. Ten studies support the temporal relationship between menthol and reduced smoking cessation, as they measure cessation success at follow-up. Conclusions: The strength and consistency of the associations in these studies support that the removal of menthol from cigarettes is likely to reduce youth smoking initiation, improve smoking cessation outcomes in adult smokers, and in turn, benefit public health.

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., … Stanton, C.A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

26

Page(s)

e61-e67
10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-053265
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.

Neural correlates of tobacco cue reactivity predict duration to lapse and continuous abstinence in smoking cessation treatment

Owens, M.M., Mackillop, J., Gray, J.C., Beach, S.R., Stein, M.D., Niaura, R., & Sweet, L.H.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Addiction Biology
10.1111/adb.12549
Abstract

It has been hypothesized that neural reactivity to drug cues in certain limbic/paralimbic regions of the brain is an indicator of addiction severity and a marker for likelihood of success in treatment. To address this question, in the current study, 32 participants (44 percent female) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging cigarette cue exposure paradigm 2 hours after smoking, and then enrolled in a 9-week smoking cessation treatment program. Neural activation to smoking cues was measured in five a priori defined limbic/paralimbic regions previously implicated with cue reactivity across substances. These included regions of the ventral striatum, anterior cingulate cortex and amygdala. Cox proportional hazard modeling was conducted to predict the number of days to first smoking lapse by using neural activation in these regions. Greater neural activation during pre-treatment exposure to smoking cues in the right ventral striatum, the left amygdala, and the anterior cingulate was associated with longer periods of abstinence following cessation. A similar pattern was present for continuous abstinence for the full duration of treatment. While baseline levels of nicotine dependence were strongly associated with treatment outcome, activation in the right ventral striatum predicted duration of abstinence beyond level of nicotine dependence. These results suggest that pre-treatment reactivity to smoking cues in areas associated with cue reactivity may be associated with successfully maintaining abstinence during treatment. This is consistent with models that propose that as addiction becomes more severe, motivational processing shifts from regions that subserve reward salience and learning to regions responsible motor behavior and habit learning.

Overview of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: A Systematic Review

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

Publication year

2017

Journal title

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume

52

Page(s)

e33-e66
10.1016/j.amepre.2016.10.036
Abstract

Context Rapid developments in e-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), and the evolution of the overall tobacco product marketplace warrant frequent evaluation of the published literature. The purpose of this article is to report updated findings from a comprehensive review of the published scientific literature on ENDS. Evidence acquisition The authors conducted a systematic review of published empirical research literature on ENDS through May 31, 2016, using a detailed search strategy in the PubMed electronic database, expert review, and additional targeted searches. Included studies presented empirical findings and were coded to at least one of nine topics: (1) Product Features; (2) Health Effects; (3) Consumer Perceptions; (4) Patterns of Use; (5) Potential to Induce Dependence; (6) Smoking Cessation; (7) Marketing and Communication; (8) Sales; and (9) Policies; reviews and commentaries were excluded. Data from included studies were extracted by multiple coders (October 2015 to August 2016) into a standardized form and synthesized qualitatively by topic. Evidence synthesis There were 687 articles included in this systematic review. The majority of studies assessed patterns of ENDS use and consumer perceptions of ENDS, followed by studies examining health effects of vaping and product features. Conclusions Studies indicate that ENDS are increasing in use, particularly among current smokers, pose substantially less harm to smokers than cigarettes, are being used to reduce/quit smoking, and are widely available. More longitudinal studies and controlled trials are needed to evaluate the impact of ENDS on population-level tobacco use and determine the health effects of longer-term vaping.

Pooled analysis of three randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials with rimonabant for smoking cessation

Robinson, J.D., Cinciripini, P.M., Karam-Hage, M., Aubin, H.J., Dale, L.C., Niaura, R., & Anthenelli, R.M.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Addiction Biology
10.1111/adb.12508
Abstract

Despite the withdrawal of CB1 antagonists, such as rimonabant, from the market and from active clinical development because of concerns about their side effect profiles, research suggests that the endocannabinoid system may play an important role in modulating nicotine's effects. We report the combined results, using a pooled analysis, of three previously unpublished trials assessing rimonabant as a smoking cessation pharmacotherapy conducted between 2002 and 2004. Smokers (n = 2097) motivated to quit were enrolled in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, STRATUS EU, US, and META, which consisted of a 10-week treatment period with either rimonabant 20 mg (n = 789), 5 mg (n = 518; used in only two of the three studies), or placebo (n = 790), in conjunction with brief counseling. The impact of drug on prolonged abstinence and adverse events was examined at 8 weeks (end-of-treatment) and at 48 weeks (available for STRATUS EU and US) after the targeted quit date. Rimonabant 20 mg resulted in significantly higher abstinence at end-of-treatment and at 48 weeks post-targeted quit date compared with placebo, while rimonabant 5 mg and placebo did not differ. Serious AEs did not differ by drug group. The 20 mg rimonabant dose, compared with placebo, produced increased nausea, diarrhea, anxiety symptoms, hyporexia, and vomiting, and decreased headache, constipation, and cough. These results support rimonabant 20 mg as a modestly effective aid for smoking cessation. Although work on CB1 antagonists such as rimonabant has mostly been stopped because of unacceptable adverse events, these results may inform and spur the development of other endocannabinoids for smoking cessation.

Contact

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