Five UW-CTRI staff members in March will present research findings at the 2017 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Annual Meeting in Florence, Italy.

UW-CTRI Associate Research Director Dr. Megan Piper will be the discussant for a symposium about a technique to analyze data gathered from mobile devices to see how use of tobacco products varies over time. This technique, known as “time-varying effect modeling” (TVEM), holds potential to help us better understand how smokers—and former smokers—change over time and how best to support them. Panelists will present their TVEM research findings on addiction behavior and predictors and Piper will summarize the findings at the end of the symposium. The Chair is Stephanie Lanza (Penn State), and presenters include Jessica Braymiller (Penn State), Michael Russell (Penn State), and Lisa Dierker (Wesleyan University).

UW-CTRI Director of Research Administration Dave Fraser will discuss results from the Striving to Quit study, which helped Medicaid recipients to quit smoking—including some who were homeless. To watch a video featuring participants from the study, click here. Modest incentives, offered to adult Medicaid members, resulted in greater treatment engagement and biochemically confirmed abstinence. Future research might explore whether incentivizing engagement alone (as opposed to abstinence) would produce similar results with lower cost. Co-authors of the abstract were UW-CTRI Director of Biostatistical Operations Stevens Smith, UW-CTRI Quit Line Coordinator Kate Kobinsky, UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore, and UW-CTRI Director of Research Tim Baker.

Four UW-CTRI employees will present posters at the conference, including:

  1. UW-CTRI Researcher Holly Prince, "Comparative Analysis of Patch, Varenicline, and Combination Nicotine Replacement Therapy Effects on Latent Abstinence and Adherence Classes." This poster highlighted how researchers found that the combination of nicotine-replacement medications (NRT) was superior to varenicline in promoting initial abstinence and recovery from cessation failure, and promoted abstinence better among those who are not fully adherent. Both varenicline and combo-NRT were better at promoting partial, sustained change than was the nicotine patch alone, but adherence to these more intensive regimens was lower. Other authors: Mark Versella (Rutgers) and UW-CTRI Associate Research Director Dr. Danielle McCarthy.

  2. Piper, "Randomized Controlled Trial of an Optimized Smoking Cessation Intervention Delivered in Primary Care." In results culled from the BREATHE Study, those who received the Optimized Treatment had significantly higher quit rates than those in a less-intensive intervention group. The Optimized Treatment included: mini-lozenges for 3 weeks pre-quit, 26 weeks of combination nicotine patch + mini-lozenges, 3 in-person and 8 phone counseling sessions, and 7-11 automated calls to prompt medication use. Other authors: UW-CTRI Researchers Dr. Jessica Cook, Dr. Tanya Schlam, UW-CTRI Director of Clinical Services Dr. Doug Jorenby, Smith, Fraser; Dr. Linda Collins (Penn State); Fiore and Baker.

  3. UW-CTRI Communications Director Christopher Hollenback, "Best Practices for Tobacco Study Recruitment Using Facebook." The poster discussed how UW-CTRI used Facebook advertising to recruit volunteers who fit a very specific demographic at an efficient rate. Researchers identified best practices for selecting creative elements, keywords, and payment options to optimize study recruitment. Other authors: Fiore and Jorenby.

  4. Fiore, "The Association between Tobacco Control Policy Implementation at the National Level and Declines in Adult Smoking Prevalence." Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. age-adjusted prevalence of adult cigarette smoking has fallen markedly—from 20.6% in 2009 to 15.3% today. That’s a decrease of about 0.78 percentage points per year, more than double the annual rates of decline during the administrations of George W. Bush (.36 percentage points per year) or Bill Clinton (.28 percentage points per year). At the pace set during the Obama era, adult smoking in the US would end in about 20 years.