The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) was founded in 1994 to address the need for coordinated scientific discourse on research related to the many direct effects of nicotine and tobacco, the use of tobacco products in our society, and the prevention and treatment of tobacco dependence. It is still the only national organization primarily devoted to promoting the conduct of research on nicotine and tobacco and disseminating findings from this research. SRNT is a multidisciplinary organization including members whose interests range from neuroscience to clinical and prevention interventions to tobacco policy. SRNT will hold its 13th annual meeting in February 2007 at the Hilton Austin in Austin, TX. We are requesting partial support for this and four subsequent annual meetings from NIDA, with the potential co-funding by other NIH institutes and CDC, through the conference grant mechanism. At the annual meetings, a multidisciplinary group of scientists, many of whom are funded by NIDA, NCI, and other NIH institutes, will present talks, posters, symposia, and other sessions that highlight the latest research on nicotine and tobacco. This research will cover the broadest possible scope of the influence of nicotine and tobacco on public health, including neuroscience, clinical pharmacology, treatment, prevention, epidemiology, and health policy. Theme lectures by three distinguished researchers will highlight developments in the three general interest areas: basic research, clinical, and public health/epidemiology. The work of new investigators will be highlighted via special oral sessions and awards programs. In addition, immediately prior to the 2007 annual meeting, we plan to hold three focused special topics meetings on topics of interest to subgroups of SRNT members (although support for these meetings is not requested here). Overall, the SRNT annual meeting serves a valuable function by providing a forum for dissemination and discussion of the latest findings in nicotine and tobacco research and the opportunity for cross-fertilization institutes, and/or CDC would further highlight these agencies'commitment to the importance of nicotine and tobacco research.
SRNT meetings are highly relevant to public health because they bring together scientists studying every facet of a behavior that kills over 400,000 U.S. citizens every year. These scientists share results and discuss collaborative efforts designed to understand, treat, and prevent: 1) Nicotine dependence - the prevalence, mortality, and economic costs of nicotine dependence in the U.S. exceed by at least 10 times those of all the illicit drugs combined;2) Tobacco-caused cancers - successful prevention and treatment would reduce a substantial amount of the annual U.S. cancer deaths;3) Tobacco-caused cardiovascular disease - the most common cause of death among smokers in the U.S.;4) Tobacco use among youth - nicotine dependence is a disease with a pediatric age of onset and most smokers start smoking before the age of 18;and 5) Concomitant use of tobacco and alcohol- as Alcohol Alert 39 notes, Extensive research supports the popular observation that 'smokers drink and drinkers smoke.'.. . Concurrent use of these drugs poses a significant public health threat. Overall, as has happened so often in the past 12 years, the SRNT annual meeting will likely provide an initial point-of-contact for productive scientific collaborations that address all public health aspects of tobacco use including drug dependence, cancer, cardiovascular disease, human development, and alcohol.