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Georgetown leads effort to study safety of 'alternative' tobacco products

nd Drug Administration (FDA) to have authority over the labeling of these products, he said. "If that happens, this work can assist the FDA in their deliberations," Shields said.

The consortium includes researchers from Georgetown University, University of Minnesota, Harvard Medical School, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, and Arista Laboratories in North Carolina, among others.

The study will examine all aspects of these alternatives, collectively called "potential reduction exposure products" or PREPs, from design and chemistry to toxic exposure, and will communicate all findings to the public, Shields said. "We will provide rapid assessments of new products as they come on the market," he said.

To do that, the multidisciplinary researchers, who have dubbed themselves PREPAC (PREP Assessment Consortia), have divided themselves into teams. Researchers at Georgetown and the University of Minnesota will conduct clinical studies of participants who volunteer to use these products, as well as traditional cigarettes and will develop molecular markers of toxic exposure; Arista Laboratory and Georgetown researchers will analyze the toxicity of the products; investigators at Arista and Roswell will study the product design; and researchers at Harvard and Roswell Park will consider the perception of consumers to these products, and will examine tobacco company documents, including testing reports and patents.

New legislation passed recently in the District of Columbia that provides for smoke-free workplaces contained an exemption for research, "giving Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center the ability to conduct studies for this contract," Shields said. "The D.C. city council was very cooperative with our request to allow research of this kind."

Some of these researchers have already been working together to study Quest, a cigarette that contains less nicotine than traditional cigarettes.

Shield
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Contact: Becky Wexler
rjw43@georgetown.edu
202-687-5100
Georgetown University Medical Center
21-Sep-2006


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