Principal Investigator: Andy Hyland / Nicolette Borek
Funding Mechanism: Interagency Agreement
ID number: 224-12-9020
Award Date: 9/16/2011
Institution: National Institutes of Health
Population-level longitudinal data on tobacco product use, attitudes, biomarkers, and health conditions are currently not available for the U.S. The goal of this study, called the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, is to provide in-depth population-level longitudinal data to monitor and assess behavioral and biological between-person differences and within-person changes over time in tobacco product use patterns and behaviors, attitudes and risk perceptions, tobacco-related biomarkers of exposure and harm, and health conditions. The PATH Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal cohort study, will track approximately 59,000 tobacco product users, never users, and former users including 16,100 youth aged 12-17 and 42,700 adults aged 18 and older. The study uses computer-assisted interviews to collect information from adults, youth, and parents of youth; in addition, biospecimens (i.e., buccal cell, urine, blood) are collected from consenting adults. Participants are assessed annually for at least three years. Specific aims are: (1) to identify and explain between-person differences and within-person changes in tobacco-use patterns (e.g., switching, dual use, polyuse); (2) to identify between-person differences and within-person changes in risk perceptions and attitudes; (3) to characterize the natural history of tobacco dependence, cessation, and relapse related to various tobacco products; (4) to establish a baseline on tobacco use behaviors and related health conditions, including markers of exposure and tobacco-related disease processes; (5) to assess associations between regulatory actions and tobacco use patterns, behaviors, risk perceptions, attitudes, and associated health outcomes; (6) to assess between-person differences and within-person changes over time in population subgroups (e.g., gender, age, race/ethnicity); (7) to assess between-person differences and within-person changes over time in former and never users; and (8) to conduct small-scale research studies (e.g., cognitive testing, methodological studies, topic-based research studies) that focus on new and emerging tobacco-related behaviors, attitudes, and health issues. Study findings may inform FDA regulatory activities related to product standards (e.g., toxicity, appeal, abuse liability/addictiveness), health warnings, and new and modified risk tobacco products, as well as FDA’s public education efforts.