Cigarettes constitute 90% of all combustible tobacco smoke products consumed in the United States and are the single most important cause of avoidable diseases.
Penn State University is one of the 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) across the United States created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Penn State TCORS will evaluate the feasibility of switching smokers from their usual cigarettes to reduced-nicotine content cigarettes on nicotine dependence and tobacco harm. If safe and effective, this strategy will have large public health benefits.
The overall goal of Penn State TCORS is to develop a leading state-of-the-art research and training infrastructure that will inform policy on the regulation of tobacco products. To achieve these goals, Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, along with Penn State University in State College, are unifying resources with Harvard University and George Washington University. A number of Penn State’s facilities will be utilized to foster innovative research and training, including a newly-built smoking laboratory, MRI labs, and our NIH-funded Clinical & Translational Science Institute.
TCORS allows us to add additional expertise, such as a Smoking Biomarkers Core Laboratory that will perform specialized assays for tobacco science for all TCORS. A central theme of Penn State TCORS is the study of tobacco regulatory science in vulnerable (e.g. low socioeconomic status, mental disorders) and minority populations. This will be accomplished through three complementary research projects that share common methodologies, common core multidisciplinary approaches, and common leadership with the overarching aim of relevancy for tobacco regulatory policies.