UW-CTRI History: Expanding Tobacco Treatment

The University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) was founded in 1992 by UW-CTRI Director Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, MBA, and is recognized internationally as a leading authority on tobacco research, tobacco treatment and how to quit smoking. Timothy Baker, PhD, serves as Director of Research. UW-CTRI is housed within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and its leadership hold faculty positions in the Department of Medicine. UW-CTRI pioneered the institution of smoking as a vital sign, taken at each visit like blood pressure or temperature. The Center has chaired panels that created the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline:Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, last updated in 2008. UW-CTRI’s impact spans the entire globe.

The Center is a leader in making the Wisconsin Idea a reality by sharing research evidence with more than 20,000 state health-care providers and by serving more than 150,000 callers to the free Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. For years, UW-CTRI has conducted transdisciplinary research in “real-world” clinical settings, testing the latest counseling techniques as well as several medications to help patients quit smoking now approved by the FDA. UW-CTRI has grown from a staff of five in 1992 to a multi-dimensional organization of more than 70 that has garnered more than $100 million in funding since inception. In 2011, the Center was awarded three federal grants totaling more than $20 million.