3393.0 Generating Science to Drive Comprehensive Tobacco Regulatory Policy: Creating the Research Blueprint

Monday, November 5, 2007: 4:30 PM
In the absence of comprehensive regulation, tobacco companies are free to introduce any products they want and make any health claims they choose. The unregulated marketplace gave us the “light” cigarette, which duped experts and smokers into believing that exposure to toxins in smoke had been reduced. Two generations of would-be quitters were lost to the false promise of the “light” cigarette. It took nearly 30 years for researchers to unravel the fraud of the “light” cigarette. Sadly, “lights” remain nearly 90 percent of all cigarettes sold in the United States today. All of this may be changing as Congress gives serious consideration to legislation that would grant broad regulatory authority over tobacco products to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA will need a strong evidence base to use the regulatory tools contained in the legislation to prevent a repeat of the “lights” debacle. A set of research priorities must be established to generate that evidence base. Armed with an adequate science base, FDA will be best positioned to control emissions in smoke, evaluate health claims, analyze consumer attitudes and perceptions, and monitor the marketplace to identify potential unintended consequences from regulations that are issued. This session will describe the state of the science that has been generated to date to guide regulatory policy and identify a set of priorities to drive future research efforts.
Session Objectives: Learning Objectives: • To identify behavioral research, which is a critical complement to other NIH-sponsored biomedical or basic scientific research, that could be conducted by NIH if FDA obtains authority to regulate tobacco products while highlighting the existing infrastructure and capacity that is ideally and uniquely suited for this task. • To emphasize the importance of coordinating efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services, including NIH, CDC, SAMHSA or other agencies, to fully support the efforts of the FDA to develop and implement a comprehensive scheme to regulate tobacco products toward the shared goal of reducing the public health impact of these products. • To highlight lessons learned from the fraud of “light” and “low tar” cigarettes perpetuated by tobacco companies and ensure that these lessons are used to prevent future misleading claims about potentially reduced exposure products. • To highlight the critical design and content considerations of tobacco products that can substantially influence the levels of toxic, carcinogenic, and addictive components of the products’ emissions and to increase the understanding of the impact of tobacco product design on emissions and use the science base to identify the initial steps in setting regulatory standards. • To learn about the different areas of investigation for tobacco product testing and the current science being conducted in these areas, as well as future research needs. • To learn about pending legislative efforts to regulate tobacco products and the impact this regulation could have on reducing the drastic public health burden of tobacco use in the U.S.

5:42 PM

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing