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Federal institutes and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation create Tobacco Use Research Centers

Seven academic institutions have been awarded grants totaling $14.5 million by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to create the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers for studying tobacco use and new ways to combat it and its consequences. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has committed an additional $14 million over five years to complement NCI's and NIDA's efforts to improve the policy understanding and communications practices of the tobacco research teams.

The funds announced today will be used for the first year of a five-year project to foster unique collaborations among scientists across many disciplines, and to focus on areas where there are gaps in knowledge, such as adolescent smoking. Together, NCI and NIDA will spend about $70 million for the effort over five years.

With each center organized around a special theme, researchers will tackle a wide range of studies that include culture, genetics, animal models of behavior, and innovative treatments. Investigators will study the prevention of tobacco use, initiation of tobacco use, and addiction. Tobacco-related disease causes more than 450,000 deaths each year, including 170,000 cancer deaths.

"Tobacco use and nicotine addiction are such complex subjects that it will take a truly transdisciplinary approach to understand the addiction and how to prevent tobacco use, particularly by teens and younger children," said Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., NIDA's Director.

"These centers promise to accelerate development of effective tobacco control interventions, speed the transfer of these approaches to communities across the nation, and create a core of new tobacco control researchers," said NCI's Director Richard D. Klausner, M.D.

This collaboration will complement NCI's and NIDA's existing efforts. In November 1998, NCI announced a plan to expand and accelerate tobacco use research, follow
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Contact: Michelle Muth
mmuth@ngmsmtp.nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
17-Oct-1999


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