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CTP and NIDA Announce the Continuation of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

February 5, 2024

Today, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced the continuation of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study through the award of a contract to Westat. The continuation of the PATH Study, through this third contract, provides further opportunities for researchers to use study data to advance knowledge about tobacco use and its impact on health. 

Since the launch of Wave 1 in 2013, the PATH Study has been in the field continually, conducting seven main waves of data collection, as well as three additional special data collections. Wave 8 data collection is currently underway and this new contract supports at least four additional waves of main data collection, as well as other special data collections.

“Findings from the PATH Study have played a critical role informing the work of CTP’s regulatory actions for the past 10 years,” said Matthew Farrelly, Ph.D., director of CTP’s Office of Science. “Researchers from across the country have published more than 730 manuscripts based on the PATH Study with many more internal analyses being used during the regulatory decision-making process. The center will continue to use PATH Study data to inform our work.”

The continuing objectives of the PATH Study are to enhance the evidence base to inform CTP’s regulatory actions under the Tobacco Control Act by:

  • Examining tobacco product use behaviors and trajectories
  • Assessing health outcomes
  • Evaluating the impacts of CTP regulations on those outcomes
  • Conducting additional data collections in response to emerging regulatory needs as appropriate

The PATH Study provides longitudinal data on the impact of tobacco products on the health of the population, including data on the potential of tobacco products to encourage cessation among people who currently use tobacco, and the potential to prevent relapse/reuptake by those with former use, and initiation of tobacco use, particularly youth.

Members of the research community are encouraged to learn more about the PATH Study and to apply for access to the PATH Study Restricted-Use Files (RUFs) or to download the Public-Use Files (PUFs) at Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Series (umich.edu). This site also provides information about how to apply to the Biospecimen Access Program for access to the urine, serum, plasma, and genomic DNA (gDNA) collected from a subsample of PATH Study participants.

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