The overall goal of the "Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults" is to develop an integrated program of "research and training" to provide scientific evidence, and a career path for regulatory scientists to support FDA's regulatory authority concerning tobacco products. Youth and young adults are the most vulnerable age group for tobacco use, as virtually all onset and first addiction to nicotine occur prior to age 26. Our research and training will focus on the epidemiology of tobacco use among youth and young adults (particularly alternative, new, and emerging tobacco products), how tobacco products are marketed to this population, the effect of marketing on youth and young adult tobacco use, and what electronic programs can be implemented to educate young adults in this population.
The Specific Aims for the Center are as follows: I. To conduct developmentally-appropriate, longitudinal surveillance research among youth and young adults, to understand more about the diversity of tobacco products that they use, and the etiology of their onset and progression, focusing on the potential impact that tobacco marketing practices may have on their tobacco use;2.To develop a program of electronic communications that will be effective in educating young adults about risks associated with tobacco use and constituents of tobacco products;3. To organize a training and education program in tobacco regulatory science that utilizes multi-method, online and ITV technologies, that will be used to train researchers and health professionals in regulatory science including epidemiology, youth development, marketing, and surveillance methods;4. To provide opportunities for developmental and pilot funding to increase the potential for researchers at our institutions to respond to emerging research questions and/or a changing regulatory environment;5. To provide statistical and marketing data support to Center researchers, so that there is consistency across projects, quality control, timely data sharing, and the ability to publish resuls that can guide FDA's regulatory activities;and 6. To create a Center environment that promotes collaboration and mentoring, high quality research, excellence in training, and tangible outcomes to guide tobacco regulatory science with young people.
The Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA new authority to regulate the marketing of tobacco products. The central focus of our Center is on research and training in tobacco regulatory science, relevant to FDA's priority questions, focusing on diverse youth and young adults, the potential impact that tobacco marketing practices have on these age groups, and methods to communicate risks.