We propose a Center for Regulatory Research on Tobacco Communication that uses communication science to improve messages about cigarette smoke constituents, emerging tobacco products, and FDA's regulatory authority over tobacco products. Consistent with FDA's authority and responsibility to protect public health, the Center will conduct a series of integrated research projects addressing 11 CTP priority areas to assist FDA in communicating effectively with diverse audiences. Studies will oversample vulnerable populations with high rates of smoking (Black, gay, lesbian, bisexual, low income) and adolescents and young adults who are at greatest risk for tobacco use initiation. Overall Center aims are to (1) characterize the public's awareness and beliefs about tobacco products and FDA regulatory authority through mixed methods approaches, using focus groups and multiple population-based telephone surveys of 9,200 adults and adolescents in the Southeast, (2) create potent messages on risk and FDA authority, (3) conduct RCTs that assess messages'impact of tobacco use intentions and behaviors in real world contexts, and (4) build capacity for tobacco communication research through training programs and dissemination activities. Research Project 1 focuses on how soon-to-be-released information on tobacco smoke constituents will change perceived risk and discouragement from wanting to smoke. Research Project 2 looks at the impact of health warnings for new and emerging tobacco products not yet regulated by FDA, including e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, cigarillos/little cigars and dissolvables. Research Project 3 emphasizes increasing credibility of FDA communications regarding regulatory authority over tobacco products. The training and pilot/developmental funding programs will expand the Center's research impact by training new and established researchers as tobacco control regulatory scientists and providing funds for innovations in health and risk communication across our Center and other TCORS sites. Scientific findings will advance regulatory science and assist FDA in communicating more effectively with the public, including tobacco users and non- users, thereby impacting public health by reducing tobacco product initiation and increasing cessation.

Public Health Relevance

The Center for Regulatory Research on Tobacco Communication will conduct integrated research projects, among vulnerable populations and across the lifespan that will shape regulatory strategy. Scientific findings will inform and shape FDA's efforts to communicate more effectively with the public about tobacco products to reduce initiation of tobacco use and increase cessation, thereby substantially improving public health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Mayne, Rachel G
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Public Health
Chapel Hill
United States
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Kandra, Kelly L; Ranney, Leah M; Lee, Joseph G L et al. (2014) Physicians' attitudes and use of e-cigarettes as cessation devices, North Carolina, 2013. PLoS One 9:e103462