Tobacco Effects

A New Paradigm of Breast Cancer Causation and Prevention

Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD
This work takes a transdisciplinary approach to develop a model for breast cancer causation and etiology that takes into account multiple disciplinary perspectives from the biologic to the sociologic in order to provide common ground for understanding and to point up gaps in knowledge about breast cancer etiology that require further investigation. 

Acute Pulmonary Toxicity of E-Cigarettes

Jeffrey Gotts, MD, PhD
Since their introduction a decade ago, e-cigarettes (e-cigs), which use a heated coil to aerosolize nicotine-containing e-liquids, have been aggressively promoted by tobacco companies as safe alternatives to cigarettes. The use of these devices has increased at an alarming rate across all segments of society and especially among adolescents, with 13% of US high school students reporting recent use in 2014. Short-term effects of e-cig use include coughing and increased airway resistance, while longer-term health effects remain unknown. There is an urgent need to develop model exposure systems to test how these aerosols affect lung biology. Similarly, there is a compelling public health interest in translating scientific insights about toxicity into regulatory standards.

Adverse Cardiovascular Effects from One Minute of Exposure to Marijuana Secondhand Smoke

Matthew Springer, PhD

We have demonstrated that even one minute of exposure to secondhand smoke from marijuana impairs vascular endothelial function, and we are studying how the extent and mechanism of impairment compares related to those from tobacco secondhand smoke exposure.

Cardiovascular Assessment of the Effects of Tobacco and Nicotine-Delivery Products

Peter Ganz
Cigarette smoking continues to be a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In contrast, the cardiovascular risks of other tobacco products in common use (smokeless tobacco) and new tobacco products (e-cigarettes) are not adequately understood. The FDA will need information about the cardiovascular safety of these products to inform their regulatory decisions.

Contamination of Tobacco by Endotoxins, and Cigarette Butt Disposal

Research scientific literature and tobacco industry documents related to contamination of tobacco by endotoxins and the tobacco industry’s attempts to remove the contamination. Research on the impact of cigarette butt disposal in the outdoor environment as toxic waste.  


Stanton Glantz, PhD

Dr. Glantz conducts research on a wide range of issues related to e-cigarettes, particularly how e-cigarette use affects cigarette smoking behavior among adults and youth as well as health effects.

Impact of Cigarette Smoke Exposure on Acute Lung Injury

Carolyn Calfee, MD, MAS

We are studying the effects of both active smoking and secondhand smoke exposure on susceptibility to acute lung injury, a major cause of respiratory failure among critically ill patients.

Lung Cancer Stigma, Smoking Stigma, and Symptom Severity among Lung Cancer Patients

Janine Cataldo, RN, PhD, FAAN

Dr. Cataldo is conducting research on a wide range of issues related to smokers who develop lung cancer.  Several studies have explored the severity of lung cancer stigma and its relationship with the severity of physical (i.e., appetite, fatigue, cough, dyspnea, hemoptysis, pain, sleep) and psycho-social (i.e., self-esteem, anxiety, depression) symptoms and Quality of Life. Dr. Cataldo developed the Cataldo Lung Cancer Stigma Scale (CLCSS), this scale has been translated into Norwegian and Korean and is currently being used in a national study of lung cancer stigma in Australia. 

Mechanisms of Airway Inflammation and Remodeling in Lung Diseases

Prescott Woodruff, MD, MPH

These studies apply innovative methods for quantitative morphometry and gene expression analyses to human tissue samples obtained at fiberoptic bronchoscopy. In work to date, we have applied these methods to study mechanisms of disease in asthma, COPD and sarcoidosis. Ongoing work in this area is supported by the NIH (R01 HL-095372). Our approaches combine the application of gene expression profiling methods (microarrays, qPCR, laser capture microdissection) and design–based stereology (for quantitative measurement of tissue remodeling in human samples).

Personalized Medicine for Colorectal and Breast Cancer

Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD

Major goals: To use an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to obtain evidence about key aspects of the translation of genomic information for breast and colorectal cancer into clinical practice and health policy.

Pharmacologic Basis of Racial Difference in Nicotine Dependence

Neal Benowitz, MD, Gideon St Helen, PhD

AA and EA smokers undergo detailed monitoring of smoking behavior, receive known doses of nicotine to establish nicotine metabolic rate, undergo DNA testing, and have their responses to not smoking for several hours studied. Exposure to carcinogens and other tobacco smoke toxins is also measured.  It is hypothesized that there are racial differences in metabolism that may explain different patterns of smoking, and that this in turn influences the reasons why smokers continue to self-administer nicotine (i.e., continue to smoke).

Quantification and Biomarkers of Short-Term Pulmonary Effects of Tobacco Smoke Exposure: Infection-Related Acute Lung Injury

Jeffrey Gotts, MD, PhD, Carolyn Calfee, MD, MAS

The health consequences of smoking are primarily perceived to be cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pulmonary disease, but acute pulmonary consequences of exposure to cigarette smoke are likely to be as or more important.  However, there has been little research on smoking and acute lung injury a common cause of acute respiratory failure in critically ill patients.

Rapid Vascular Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Matthew Springer, PhD

We are assessing the dose- and time-response of vascular functional impairment caused by exposure to second hand smoke at very low levels and short exposure times in rats.  

Rate of Nicotine Metabolism and Withdrawal Symptoms in Adolescent Light Smokers

Mark Rubinstein, MD

The goal of this study was to examine the associations between the rate of nicotine metabolism and cigarette consumption, addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Sample Analysis and Support for Clinical Trials

Prescott Woodruff, MD, MPH

The Woodruff Laboratory supports sample analyses for clinical trials in asthma and COPD in both NIH and industry-supported studies. These sample analyses include measurement of changes in airway remodeling in response to specific therapeutic interventions, assessment of inflammation and the application of biomarkers to enhance the interpretation of clinical trials.

The Identification of Molecular Sub-phenotypes of Asthma and COPD

Prescott Woodruff, MD, MPH
These studies are funded by: 1) An R01 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health.