The Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies has been in existence for nearly two decades, though it has operated under different names (see Historical Overview). The mission of the Institute is to reduce and ultimately, eliminate tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in New Jersey, the US, and globally. We seek to do this via 1) research that informs interventions, regulations and policies; 2) the delivery of evidence-based tobacco treatment; 3) dissemination of research findings to key stakeholders; and 4) training of tobacco treatment providers and the next generation of tobacco control researchers.
Five Centers or Programs currently operate at the Institute.
1. Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science
2. Center of Excellence for Rapid Surveillance of Tobacco
3. Tobacco Dependence Program
4. Tobacco Industry Marketing Program
5. Tobacco Control Law & Policy Resource Center
The Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies has been in existence for nearly two decades, though it has operated under different names. Each name change signified a shift in focus. It was created in 2000 at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health and was then known as the Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation Research Program (TSERP). Its primary mission was to serve as the independent evaluator of New Jersey’s Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program. Also operating within the UMDNJ-School of Public Health, was the Tobacco Dependence Program which delivered face-to-face, evidence-based tobacco treatment and provided continuing education in tobacco treatment for healthcare professionals. TSERP later expanded its population focus beyond New Jersey, and secured grants from NIH and RWJF and the program was renamed the Center for Tobacco Surveillance & Evaluation Research (CTSER).
In 2009, Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA), giving the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products. The Institute quickly capitalized on tobacco regulatory science research needs and secured FDA funding. Given its broader research portfolio, and coinciding with the UMDNJ-Rutgers integration, the Center was renamed the Center for Tobacco Studies in 2014 and assumed responsibility for SPH’s Tobacco Dependence Program. In 2018 the Center for Tobacco Studies, in collaboration with investigators at the University of Pennsylvania, became one of only nine Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science supported by FDA/NIH.
In 2019, the Center moved out of the School of Public Health and became a Chancellor level unit at Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences. Since then, it has undergone rapid transformative growth. In less than five years – the research portfolio more than doubled and the team grew from 8 to 14 core faculty. Given its growth, as well as the fact that our work goes beyond traditional commercial tobacco to include commercial nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes and tobacco-free nicotine pouches, as well as nicotine-based pharmacotherapy, in July 2023, the Center was rebranded as the Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies.
Since its inception, the Institute has generated over $50 million in grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH). Within New Jersey, the Institute has conducted nearly 30 statewide surveys-reaching over 60,000 adolescents, 30,000 adults, 630 schools, 1,000 worksites, 2,500 health care providers, and 1,500 worksites. The Institute has produced 40 statewide reports and data briefs, presented 350+ scholarly presentations, and published 350+ papers. We have treated 7,000+ smokers in New Jersey and trained over 3,000 clinicians as tobacco treatment specialists in all 50 states and more than 10 countries.
Purpose and Mission
Globally, tobacco caused diseases kill 1 in 10 adults and such deaths are projected to exceed 8 million annually by 2030. Tobacco use disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations. Domestically, high cigarette smoking rates persist among individuals who are economically disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, and those with mental health and substance use disorders. Globally, the tobacco industry aggressively targets women and youth in low and middle income countries to replace “lost revenue” from declining smoking rates in developed countries. Reducing the health burden from tobacco products requires a multi-disciplinary approach in research, treatment, training, service, and policy change. Accordingly, the mission of the INTS is to reduce and ultimately, eliminate tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in New Jersey, the US, and globally. We seek to do this via
1) research that informs interventions, regulations and policies;
2) the delivery of evidence-based tobacco treatment;
3) dissemination of research findings to key stakeholders; and
4) training of tobacco treatment providers and the next generation of tobacco control researchers.