FDA and NIH Joins Hands In Study on Tobacco Use, Perception

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The US Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced a big collaboration in a large scale and national study regarding tobacco users. The said study also intends to monitor and assess the behavioral health impacts of the new government tobacco regulations.

Compared with any other period in the history of health and politics, legislators have become aggressive more than ever in fighting the alleged wrath of tobacco smoking, even to the extent of legislating for larger tri-media campaigns of the ill-effects of smoking and printing them in cigarette packages.

The said study will be called the Tobacco Control Act National Longitudinal Study of Tobacco Users, is considered the first large scale NIH and FDA joint project in the hopes of regulating tobacco use in the country. This is also in consonance with the rights vested upon the FDA to control tobacco use by virtue of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009.

“The launch of this study signals a major milestone in addressing one of the most significant public health burdens of the 21st century,” shared FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. “The results will strengthen FDA’s ability to fulfill our mission to make tobacco-related death and disease part of America’s past and will further guide us in targeting the most effective actions to decrease the huge toll of tobacco use on our nation’s health.”

The investigators of the study will involve about forty-thousand tobacco product users and those individuals aged 12 years and older who are at risk for using tobacco. The researchers will investigate on the reasons which make people more susceptible to use tobacco. They will:

-          Evaluate use patterns and resulting health problems;

-          Study patterns of tobacco cessation and relapse in the era of tobacco regulation;

-          Evaluate the effects of regulatory changes on risk perceptions and other tobacco-related attitudes; and

-          Assess differences in attitudes, behaviors and key health outcomes in racial-ethnic, gender, and age subgroups.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the FDA on this study that may provide us with a better understanding of the impact of product regulation on tobacco prevention and cessation,” according to NIH Director Francis S. Collins.

Westat was awarded the contract to carry out the study through a competitive solicitation process. The findings of the said study is expected to assess the impact of legislations on tobacco regulation and will guide the authorities on how to effectively implement the said laws. It will be very vital in making decisions as per marketing products, setting forth standards for tobacco sales, and how to communicate the risks of tobacco use in order to safeguard public health.

According to the CDC, the adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women. An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.




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