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Roswell study will pay smokers, smokeless tobacco users

How willing are smokers to try different tobacco products based on the price?

Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) are asking that and other questions in a clinical study that examines the impact of price and other factors on the substitution of smokeless tobacco products for cigarettes.

Researchers are seeking 200 smokers who are willing to try new products and cut down on their smoking. To participate in the study, participants must be at least 18 years old, in good health, and must currently smoke at least 10 cigarettes per day. This behavioral-economics study will help to explain the motivation behind decisions about health and offer new insights on health-behavior change.

"There are few studies that have evaluated the attitudes of smokers who supplement cigarette use or switch to smokeless tobacco products," said Richard O’Connor, a researcher in the Roswell Department of Health Behavior and Director of the Institute’s Tobacco Research Laboratory, in a news release. "This study will help assess a constellation of factors that impact decisions to use smokeless tobacco products."

Smokeless tobacco – also known as spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, oral tobacco, dip, chew or snuff – is tobacco that is not burned. The health risks associated with smokeless tobacco vary considerably across products. Some studies suggest that smokers have begun using smokeless tobacco as a temporary or ongoing substitute for cigarettes, and some products have been marketed to smokers for this purpose.

"The information obtained from this study will contribute to a greater understanding of the factors that are driving an increased use of smokeless tobacco," said Dr. Martin Mahoney, associate professor in the departments of Health Behavior and Medicine and co-investigator of the study. "These results should help us to design more effective intervention strategies that will ultimately help smokers quit."

Participants will be asked to attend five sessions over five weeks and answer questions about their smoking and product use. They will be reimbursed for their time and travel. For more information, call 845-2365.

This research is supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Help for smokers looking to quit is available through the New York State Smokers’ Quitline, which is based at Roswell. "Quit coaches" provide free resources, including evidence-based coaching and nicotine patches, as well as information about smoking cessation for health-care providers. Call 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit for more info.

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About The Refresh Buffalo Blog

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon is an award-winning reporter and editor who has covered various topics in his quarter-century as a journalist in South Florida, Syracuse and Buffalo. He is aiming to pass along what he is learning these days about health, fitness, nutrition and family life.

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