UW-CTRI has 4 new studies and 5 other active studies. Here are the new studies:
1) Breaking Addiction to Tobacco for Health 2 (BREATHE 2). (Status: Will begin recruiting in 2020) In a first, researchers at the University of Wisconsin will compare the most effective treatments to help people quit smoking in real-world clinics, with a goal of tailoring and optimizing help to individual smokers. This $12.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute will be the fifth consecutive “center grant” for lead researchers Dr. Tim Baker and Dr. Michael Fiore, research director and director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI), and their staff. UW-CTRI will partner with health systems to treat more than 4,000 clinic patients. They will reach out to patients listed as smokers in electronic health records to help those who are ready to quit and motivate those who aren’t. The innovative experiment will be the first to experimentally compare the two most effective interventions available—varenicline (Chantix) vs. combination nicotine-replacement medications—and determine whether they are enhanced by type of counseling (in-person vs. phone), or by extra medication before quitting or after the standard treatment. About 25 million smokers in America make a primary care visit each year, but only about five percent of smokers who try to quit use the cessation counseling and medication we know can help. In this study, the research team will reach out to them and offer these treatments. May 2019-May 2024, $12.5 million. Funded by NCI. Drs. Timothy Baker and Michael Fiore, PIs.
2) VA Merit Grant. (Status: Recruiting participants) The US Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a new grant to UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Jessica Cook and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital (VA) in Madison to be the first ever to evaluate a chronic care system designed to help veterans who are both ready and not ready to quit smoking. Many veterans become addicted to tobacco during their military service. Led by Cook, the team will implement the grant at the VA, offering telemedicine visits for all veterans who smoke, including rural veterans who cannot afford to drive into Madison for visits. It’s a way of giving back to veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country by assisting those who need it most. The Enhanced Chronic Care system will provide ongoing motivational interventions and interpersonal support to veterans who use tobacco but are not ready to quit. The treatment is designed to encourage veterans to use evidence-based tobacco treatment and to ultimately help them quit. Cook will work with UW-CTRI colleagues Elana Brubaker and Kirsten Webster to recruit 250 veterans who smoke to receive the Enhanced Chronic Care intervention, and another 250 to receive the Standard Care (brief advice to quit once per year). The researchers hope this study will help identify an effective smoking treatment strategy for VA clinical practice. January 2019-December 2023, $1 million. Funded by the VA. Dr. Jess Cook, PI.
3) Options Study. (Status: Will recruit in early 2020) People in the Madison and Milwaukee areas who want to see what it’s like to temporarily switch from just smoking to alternative products—like Juul e-cigarettes or cigarettes with very low nicotine content—can give it a try in a new research study. They can even get paid up to $380 for doing it. All study participants will be smokers who are willing to try quitting smoking for a week and also try something new for just that week. They will:
- Be randomly assigned to switch to either vaping or smoking low-nicotine cigarettes (LNC) for a week, or to using no alternative product.
- Then they go back smoking for a week.
- Next, they switch from smoking to Juul, or LNC or no alternative product.
- During the two switch weeks, all participants will be given patches. During one week, the patches will have active nicotine and, during the other switch week, the patches will be placebo (no nicotine).
Researchers will examine how well Juul or low-nicotine cigarettes can substitute for regular smoking, and how nicotine patches factor into it and why. The landscape of tobacco products is changing and we need to understand how people use these products in the real world and how they compare to their regular cigarettes. The researchers hope that this information will help inform the FDA as they try to make rules about tobacco products. May 2019-April 2022, $1.4 million. Funded by NCI and FDA. Dr. Megan Piper, PI.
4) Evaluation of Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line eReferral Implementation, Reach, and Maintenance. (Status: Active and collecting data via EHR) This new grant from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW-ICTR) will evaluate electronic referrals from primary-care clinics to the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line. The study focuses on implementation and dissemination and will identify key factors that influence when and how clinic staff refer patients to the Quit Line via eReferral. Researchers hope to learn how to increase the number of patients referred and promote eReferral to help underserved patients who smoke access treatment to quit. UW-CTRI researchers will analyze data from the electronic health records (EHR) at Gundersen and Ascension health systems, observe their clinic staff at work, and conduct in-depth interviews with clinic staff about offering eReferral to patients who smoke. The goal is to identify ways to encourage clinic staff to consistently offer eReferral to smokers. To do this, UW-CTRI will work with participating clinics to develop and evaluate the use of timely feedback and incentives (e.g., small payments to clinics) to enhance the rates at which clinic staff refer patients via EHR to the Quit Line. November 2019-March 2021, $150,000.
2) VA Merit Grant. (Status: Set to recruit this fall) The US Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a new grant to UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Jessica Cook and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital (VA) in Madison to be the first ever to evaluate a chronic care system designed to help veterans who are both ready and not ready to quit smoking. Funded by the VA. Dr. Jess Cook, PI.
3) Options Study. (Status: Set to recruit this fall) People in the Madison and Milwaukee areas who want to see what it’s like to temporarily switch from just smoking to alternative products—like Juul e-cigarettes or cigarettes with very low nicotine content—can give it a try in a new research study. Funded by NCI and FDA. Dr. Megan Piper, PI.