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School & Program Updates

Georgia State’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science to Study Labeling of Toxins in Cigarette Smoke

Georgia State University’s Tobacco Center Of Regulatory Science has received nearly $380,000 in funding for research to develop effective messaging to convey information to the public about harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHC) in cigarette smoke.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the funds to support the study “Testing Displays and Understanding of HPHCs,” which will help the agency meet its regulatory requirement to inform the public about the amounts of toxins in different cigarette brands.

The research will test different visual formats for communicating information “in a way that is accurate, understandable and not misleading,” said Ms. Pam Redmon, administrative director of the Tobacco Center Of Regulatory Science (TCORS) at Georgia State’s School of Public Health. TCORS will partner with RTI International on the project.

Other research has found that smokers typically have poor knowledge of the harmful constituents in tobacco smoke, including cyanide, arsenic and mercury. Many smokers are aware that cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, possibly because it is mentioned in warning labels.

Knowledge of the chemical components of tobacco smoke typically is lower among less educated people. TCORS researchers will explore how different visual formats of messaging versus text may help reach smokers of different education levels, and whether it is more effective to present information with exact amounts of different toxins, or ranges.

TCORS, which was established at Georgia State in 2013, takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the human and economic factors that contribute to tobacco use. The Center seeks to generate research to inform the regulation of tobacco products to protect public health.

To learn more about the work at TCORS, go to: http://tcors.publichealth.gsu.edu/