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As part of an interagency partnership, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have put significant funds toward tobacco-related research, creating 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS).
The science and research programs that will be established as a result of the support are being designed to increase understanding and awareness of the risks accompanying tobacco use, as well as to inform tobacco regulation.
Part of the reason for the partnership between the two bodies is that, although there have been decades of work toward reducing tobacco use in the US, it is still the main cause of preventable death and disease.
NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins says that in the US, "smoking still accounts for one in five deaths each year, which is far too many."
FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg says:
"For the first time, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the federal government, through the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), is able to bring science-based regulation to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products."
TCORS will also be coordinated by the NIH's Office of Disease Prevention and administered by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
A major investment in federal tobacco regulatory science, TCORS funding totals $53 million in the first year and, potentially, a total of more that $273 million over the next 5 years.
According to the FDA, the research that is part of this program will yield scientific evidence within seven FDA tobacco research areas:
As part of the TCORS funding, the American Heart Association (AHA) will receive $19.6 million in funding over a 5-year period for the Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center.
The grant will be used to support research around the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products as they are regulated by the FDA. This will include three projects examining the toxicity of tobacco, cardiovascular injury as a result of tobacco use, and the perception of tobacco use in "vulnerable populations."
The Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center is a "virtual research center" that will be a network of researchers from the AHA and several academic institutions, including Boston University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, New York University and Northwestern University.
A major aim of the AHA project is to create more effective communications campaigns around the cessation of tobacco use.
AHA CEO Nancy Brown says:
"Together, we can strengthen our understanding of the health risks of tobacco products that can inform, shape and support meaningful regulation and protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death."
Medical News Today recently reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated the impact of tobacco control measures and announced they would prevent 7.4 million premature deaths by 2050.
Written by Marie Ellis
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
FDA and NIH create first-of-kind Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science FDA release, accessed 20 September 2013.
American Heart Association Awarded $19.6 Million Grant From NIH-FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Program American Heart Association release, accessed 20 September 2013.
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