U. Wisconsin tobacco research fired up with help of new grant
MADISON, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School recently received a $9.9 million grant to aid in a tobacco research investigation.
The National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have awarded a total of $14.5 million to seven Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers for studying and combating tobacco usage.
UW's research will focus on relapse tobacco use. The UW Center for Tobacco and Intervention plans to use the $9.9 million grant to fund a training program for researchers and three different relapse projects.
"In one study, smokers will carry hand-held computers to record their withdrawal symptoms," said psychology professor Tim Baker.
Baker said smokers would be asked to keep track of their moods, stresses, drinking habits and desires to smoke throughout the day.
"That way, we have a good psychological snapshot of what may cause relapse," Baker said. "That information can be used to determine what long or short term precursors of relapse behavior exist."
Baker said the research could indicate what treatment procedures should be implemented to prevent relapse.
"Let's say negative moods like anger, sadness or anxiety preceded relapse," he said. "Possible treatments could include counseling strategies, developing coping skills or even taking medications, like antidepressants."
Recruits for the study will be offered free treatment for their participation.
Six other research institutions across the nation were awarded similar grants for studies that would provide information about existing consequences and behaviors surrounding tobacco use.
The NCI and NIDA also awarded grants to the Brown University Center, University of California at Irvine, The University of Southern California, Georgetown University Medical Center, Yale University and the University of Minnesota.
The research themes vary from the University of California at Irvine's study to identify predictors of nicotine addiction in animals and tobacco susceptibility and use in humans to the University of Minnesota's study of treating smokers who have been resistant to conventional methods of targeting.
Dr. Steven A. Schroeder, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said that the combined funding for all of the studies provided an opportunity.
"We hope to increase our understanding of effective policies in tobacco use prevention and treatment and to put that knowledge into practice as quickly as possible in the real world," he said.