December 3, 2013

A Fogarty International Center (FIC) review of the NIDA- and FIC-supported International Tobacco and Health Research and Capacity Building Program (TOBAC) has documented outcomes for 34 R01 5-year grants. NIDA contributed $5.3 million for 14 grants awarded between 2002 and 2012. The FIC review cited exceptional outcomes from four NIDA-supported research teams that have published 196 scientific articles and contributed to significant policy and training initiatives in:

  • Argentina – A grant to Eliseo Perez-Stable, M.D., University of California San Francisco, and colleagues identified and filled gaps in physician training for smoking cessation programs.
  • Brazil – Isabel C. Scarinci, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Alabama Birmingham, and colleagues used a NIDA grant to leverage support from new Brazilian tobacco control laws in creating an innovative research-training program.
  • China – Teh-Wei Hu, Ph.D., University of California Berkley, and colleagues demonstrated the effectiveness of tobacco sales, tax, and crop replacement policies; expanded training opportunities through partnerships among universities, nongovernmental organizations, and foundations; and launched an education campaign that cut smoking rates among pregnant women and their spouses.
  • Syria – Three grants to Wasim Maziak, M.D., Ph.D., Florida International University, and colleagues collected the first national prevalence data on water pipe smoking and demonstrated resulting harms, leading the country to ban public smoking and restrict the use of water pipes. A study published in 2011 by researchers at the University of Damascus and the University of Michigan named the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies as the leading institution for high-quality biomedical research in the nation.

NIDA also supported projects that improved tobacco research and training in Africa, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Uruguay. Other FIC partners in the TOBAC program included the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health Office of the Director. The 34 grants trained more than 3,500 researchers and health care professionals in 30 nations, published 416 scientific articles, and developed 33 curricula. NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., and Deputy Director Wilson M. Compton, M.D., M.P.E., participated in the review.