To exercise its legal authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires rigorous and timely scientific evidence to inform its regulatory activities. The Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) at FDA funds tobacco regulatory science (TRS) research that supports the government’s regulation of tobacco products. Multiple scientific disciplines contribute to development of an extensive knowledge base for the field of TRS. Key areas for research projects and training programs are:
- The diversity of tobacco products and use patterns
- Toxicity and carcinogenicity of tobacco products
- Health effects of tobacco product use and addiction
- Communications about the risks and harms posed by tobacco product use
- The impact of tobacco product marketing on tobacco product use
In partnership with the Schroeder Institute at the Legacy Foundation, Westat developed the Center for Evaluation and Coordination of Training and Research (CECTR) in Tobacco Regulatory Science to support and evaluate FDA-funded TRS and training programs. CECTR is supported via a cooperative agreement from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health with funding from CTP.
- The CECTR is engaged in the following activities:
- Conducting an evaluation of CTP-funded research projects and training programs to determine the extent to which funded investigators are addressing CTP research priorities and informing policy and practice, attracting new researchers to the field, and preparing trainees for careers in tobacco regulatory science
- Supporting the development of learning materials, including an online learning center, webinars, and training programs
- Providing analytical and technical expertise, guidance, and tools
- Acting as a central hub to connect CTP-funded research programs to promote engagement and collaboration
- The research supported by CECTR will generate new evidence that informs regulatory activities and decisionmaking to positively impact public health and enhance training programs for scientists in tobacco regulatory research.