Research priorities and infrastructure needs of the family smoking prevention and tobacco control act: Science to inform FDA policy

Scott J. Leischow, Mitch J.D. Zeller, Cathy L. Backinger

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: A new law in the United States gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wide latitude to regulate tobacco products for the first time. Given the need for science to serve as a foundation for FDA actions, it is critical that a scientific review of the literature relevant to the proposed legislation be undertaken by experts in the field of nicotine and tobacco research in order to develop research priorities. Methods: This paper describes an initiative that was implemented to identify research opportunities under "The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act" and summarizes the conclusions and future directions derived from that initiative. Results: Multiple research and surveillance needs were identified, such as characterization of biomarkers and increased analysis of risk perception. It was also recognized that science will play a critical role in policy determinations such as what constitutes "substantial equivalence" and that there will be considerable infrastructure needs (e.g., laboratories for product testing). Conclusions: Science must drive FDA's decision making regarding tobacco regulation. This article provides a summary of research opportunities identified through literature reviews related to various provisions of the new law. However, the science required by the law requires a transdisciplinary approach because of its complexity, so one of the challenges facing the FDA will be to connect the silos of research in recognition that the "system" of tobacco regulation is greater than the sum of its parts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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