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Social and behavioral prevention and treatment

Advance innovative research and collaborations that prevent or reduce tobacco use and the impact of tobacco-related diseases among California’s priority groups (see a list of priority groups under “High Impact Research Project Award”).

Tobacco use continues to cause disproportionately high rates of morbidity and mortality from cancers, cardiovascular and lung diseases, oral diseases, and reduced quality of life for
California priority groups. Tobacco-related health disparities (TRHDs) devastate individuals, families, communities and the economy.

Social Determinants of Health

Multiple complex factors contribute to TRHD. Tobacco-related research should consider the social determinants of health or the impact of the physical environment (e.g., poverty) in which people work, live and socialize on tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. Understanding and reducing TRHD requires consideration of intersectional groups and the interaction of individual, interpersonal/social, community/neighborhood, institutional, and policy factors across the tobacco use continuum and over the life span. Cultural factors and experiences with discrimination are important to consider when addressing the impact of environment, structural factors and institutional/government policy on health.

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Collaborations and Community Engagement

TRDRP encourages researchers and academic institutions to collaborate closely with: nonprofits; community organizations, health centers, and advocates; community residents; American Indian tribal organizations; immigrant service organizations; employment development agencies; post-incarceration service agencies; and policymakers at all levels of the research process.

Community-based organizations with the infrastructure to manage grant funding are encouraged to play a lead role on a community-academic participatory research project; however, community organizations should serve on a research project at a level that appropriately considers their capacity and available resources. Collaborative research partnerships are needed:

  • Between health care practitioners and academic researchers to develop a standard process for addressing tobacco use in clinical settings that serve priority groups and to promote systems level change in cessation-related activities and healthcare policy.
  • To build capacity and leadership among community-based organizations and other nonprofits for scientific research.
  • To train and prepare the next generation of leaders and advocates in tobacco control research.

TRDRP particularly encourages researchers to work with tribal leadership on commercial tobacco-related issues. In pursuing this line of research, investigators are expected to distinguish commercial from ceremonial tobacco use, respect the sovereignty of all American Indians’ lands, and seek cooperation at all levels when working in these venues, including with tribal members and tribal leaders.

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Examples of relevant research topics

Optimizing tobacco-related prevention and treatment interventions

  • Impactful cessation research that results in sustainable systems change in healthcare management of nicotine dependence.
  • Theoretical frameworks that support culturally sensitive health communications.
  • Innovative health messaging strategies and communication toolkits for poly-tobacco use.
  • Culturally tailored tobacco treatments delivered and evaluated in comprehensive health care programs (e.g., cancer treatment or patient-centered medical home health care models).
  • Social media and mobile technologies in health communications about tobacco use and the co-use of tobacco and cannabis.
  • Testing NRT and other interventions with smokers using less than 10 cigarettes per day.
  • Testing multiple NRT combinations in cessation studies.
  • Randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies that compare tobacco-related health communications between and within priority groups.
  • Scientific evaluation of health messaging based on community practice-based knowledge or testing evidence-based interventions successful for other health issues (e.g., asthma, weight or diabetes management messages) for effectiveness in tobacco prevention.

Harm reduction interventions

  • Extent to which of electronic nicotine delivery systems are successfully used as cessation aids for priority groups.
  • Interventions focused on sustained abstinence among successful cigarette quitters.
  • Characterizing health effects and changes in dependence from long-term nicotine use or the co-use of cannabis and tobacco products.
  • Health communication development for harm reduction strategies.

Prevent and reduce child, adolescent and young adult tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure

  • Developing metrics to assess youth tobacco prevention activities that account for variability in intervention delivery.
  • Scientific evaluation of practice-based tobacco prevention interventions conducted in diverse school, after school, and non-traditional education settings.
  • Targeted health communications for menthol and flavored tobacco and cannabis prevention.
  • Youth-tailored communication toolkits for new and emerging tobacco products (e.g., JUULs, “heat-not-burn” tobacco sticks) and cannabis products.
  • Reducing youth exposure to secondhand tobacco and cannabis smoke and vapor.

Surveillance of health effects and contextual factors of new and emerging tobacco product use and cannabis use

  • Health effects of the co-use of cannabis and tobacco products.
  • Development of typologies, measures and theoretical models for e-cigarette, poly-tobacco or cannabis use disorders.
  • Theoretical frameworks for problem e-cigarette or cannabis use that identify correlates of problematic use including social determinants of health factors and culture-related factors.
  • Statistical models estimating the population level social and health-related effects of tobacco-

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