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The Global Laboratory of Tobacco Control: Research to Advance Tobacco Cessation in LMICs

  • Mark Parascandola (a1) and Michele Bloch (a1)

For over half a century, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has supported research on tobacco and health, which has contributed to reductions in tobacco-caused morbidity and mortality in the U.S. But while tobacco use has been slowly declining in most high-income nations, including the US, it has continued to increase in other parts of the globe. Of the 800 million adult men who currently smoke cigarettes, over 80% are in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and these countries will bear an increasing share of the health and economic burden of tobacco use. At the same time, there are additional challenges to implementing tobacco control programs in LMICs, including a diversity of tobacco products, limited capacity and resources for tobacco control, and competing health priorities. While a large body of evidence has been generated around tobacco dependence treatment and other measures in high-income countries, this work is only partly applicable to many LMICs. In this paper we focus on research needs and opportunities around tobacco cessation interventions for LMICs, highlighting four areas: understanding diverse tobacco products, development of low-cost cessation interventions, integrating tobacco cessation into health systems, and understanding tobacco use behaviors across different contexts. Expanding tobacco control research and research capacity in LMICs is crucial to reducing tobacco use and cancer rates worldwide. Furthermore, research conducted in countries around the world can yield important insights for understanding tobacco use behaviors and the effectiveness of tobacco control interventions in the US.

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Mark Parascandola, Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 3E125 Bethesda, MD 20892–9761 (For UPS/FedEx, use: Rockville, MD 20850). Email:
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Journal of Smoking Cessation
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