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U of M TCORS Project 2: Modeling the Impact of Nicotine Regulation on Smoking and Smoking-Related Mortality

Principal Investigator(s): David Mendez and Rafael Meza

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – TCORS Grant

ID number: 1 U54 CA229974-01

Award Date: 9/14/18

Institution: University of Michigan

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate nicotine levels on all tobacco products. The focus has been primarily on lowering nicotine to minimally or non-addictive levels in cigarettes. While lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes might lead to declining smoking rates, such policies could generate unintended consequences that would undermine their effectiveness. The goal of this project is to examine how nicotine regulation may impact public health, including possible unintended consequences from compensation behaviors and the emergence of a black market. Study aims are: (1) to modify two existing U.S. population-based dynamic smoking prevalence and mortality models to account for the effects of policies that reduce nicotine to non-addictive levels in all combusted tobacco products; (2) to model the number of new smokers, smoking prevalence trajectory, and smoking-related mortality in the U.S. population from 2018-2100 in the absence of nicotine regulation; and (3) to conduct policy simulation exercises on the impact of nicotine regulations on smoking prevalence and associated mortality. Researchers will focus on the impact of potential nicotine policy-related changes on smoking prevalence and overall mortality; however, other health outcomes may be incorporated as they become available from Project 1 of this TCORS. While the focus of this project will be on nicotine reduction, the models will be flexible enough to examine the effect of other FDA regulations to alter cigarette content, such as limits on specific toxic ingredients, as well as the influence of other tobacco control policies. Results may inform potential regulatory activities related to nicotine.

U of M TCORS: Center for the Assessment of the Public Health Impact of Tobacco Regulations Resources

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