In this month’s issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the overarching theme is translational science in tobacco control. To set the stage there is an excellent review from the SRNT Basic Science Network1 on the ways in which findings from basic science research has informed and shaped public policy and how bidirectional communication between basic scientists and policy makers can further improve the translation of knowledge into policy. Given the current landscape of an ever-increasing variety of tobacco and nicotine products such as heat-not-burn, very low nicotine cigarettes (VLNCs) and other alternative nicotine delivery systems, there is a need for both tobacco research and policy to be nimble in order to adapt and implement relevant evidence-based policies. Next there are several papers assessing the effectiveness of cigarette package warnings as a public health policy. Lazard et al.2 present findings on believability of cigarette warnings regarding the addictive potential of nicotine in cigarettes and menthol as a contributor to the addictive potential of cigarettes. They found that the majority of adolescents and adults believe that both cigarettes and nicotine are addictive but are less likely to believe that menthol cigarettes are more addictive than regular cigarettes. This supports the policy of adding warning labels regarding addictiveness. Four studies assessing Graphic Warning Labels (GWLs) report similar findings. In a study by Cochran et al.3 neural processing of GWLs and how this affects attentional bias towards smoking cues was assessed using EEG. Their findings indicate that anxiety-provoking GWLs actually increase attentional bias to smoking cues while GWLs that elicit disgust has the opposite effect. They conclude that GWLs that are disgust-focused may be a better public health strategy for encouraging cessation attempts among current smokers. The second study also assessed attentional bias but researchers were interested in whether the size of the GWLs themselves altered visual attention and negative affect and intentions to quit.4 They found that GWLs that covered 50% of the package were more effective than GWLs covering 30% of the package at increase visual attention and negative affect. Intentions to quit were also higher among smokers exposed to the 50% GWL than those not exposed to a GWL, while those exposed to 30% GWL did not differ from controls on quit intention. The authors conclude that larger GWLs may be more effective, although courts in the United States have blocked this. The third study by Morgan et al.5 demonstrated that GWLs were more effective than text only warnings in sparking conversations among smokers social networks regarding the health effects of smoking and quitting than those exposed to text only warnings. A study comparing responses to GWLs over time in both Canada and Australia6 demonstrates that while attention to GWLs decreased over a 2-year period, cognitive responses increased especially in higher SES smokers, again demonstrating the overall effectiveness of the policy. These findings are confirmed in another study in North Carolina7 showing that while emotional and cognitive reactions to GWLs may wane over time, quit intentions actually increase. These studies taken together demonstrate that GWLs have the desired effect on smokers and as such are an effective public policy cessation intervention. The neurobiology of tobacco dependence is studied in several other papers in this issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research. In the study by Moran-Santa Maria et al.,8 sex differences in functional connectivity among smokers versus healthy controls, was studied. They found that network topology was altered in smokers but was only associated with severity of nicotine dependence in male smokers in regions associated with positive reinforcement and craving, providing further evidence for important sex differences that have implications for treatment. Confirming the role of the insula in nicotine reinforcement is another study of acute nicotine patch administration in nonsmokers.9 However, another study10 did not find an effect of an acute dose of a dopamine D3 agonist on motivation for cigarettes or other rewards compared to placebo, calling into question the importance of this receptor in tobacco dependence. Finally, a paper using a mouse model of nicotine withdrawal,11 shows that desformylflustrabromine, a new allosteric modulator of the alpha4beta2 nAchR was effective in reversing signs of nicotine withdrawal, indicating potential utility as a smoking cessation medication. The behavioral economics of VLNCs was assessed in the paper by Tucker et al.,12 where they found that among smokers in New Zealand, even though smokers reported VLNCs as less satisfying and rewarding than regular cigarettes this did not significantly change the demand or substitutability of VLNCs leading the authors to the conclusion that VLNCs may be effective in moving current smokers away from regular cigarettes and closer to cessation as long as the VLNCs are available at a lower price than regular cigarettes. This issue provides several examples of the types of translational science that is currently taking place in the field of nicotine and tobacco research and offers a continuum of bench to bedside to public policy and back again. This bi-directional knowledge exchange is critical for ensuring that: public policies are evidence-based; basic research is at least in part informed by public policy needs, and; policies that are implemented have the intended effect across different populations and jurisdictions. References 1. Fowler CD , Gipson CD , Kleykamp BA et al. Basic science and public policy: informed regulation for nicotine and tobacco products . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 2. Lazard AJ , Kowitt SD , Huang LL , Noar SM , Jarman K , Goldstein AO . Believability of cigarette warnings about addiction: national experiments of adolescents and adults . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 3. Cochran JR , Kydd RR , Lee JMJ , Walker N , Consedine NS . Disgust but not health anxiety graphic warning labels reduce motivated attention in smokers: a study of P300 and late positive potential responses . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 4. Skurka C , Kemp D , Davydova J et al. Effects of 30% and 50% cigarette pack graphic warning labels on visual attention, negative affect, quit intentions, and smoking susceptibility among disadvantaged populations in the United States . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 5. Morgan JC , Southwell BG , Noar SM , Ribisl KM , Golden SD , Brewer NT . Frequency and content of conversations about pictorial warnings on cigarette packs . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 6. Swayampakala K , Thrasher JF , Yong HH et al. Over-time impacts of pictorial health warning labels and their differences across smoker subgroups: results from adult smokers in Canada and Australia . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 7. Parada H , Jr. , Hall MG , Boynton MH , Brewer NT . Trajectories of responses to pictorial cigarette pack warnings . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 8. Moran-Santa Maria MM , Vanderweyen D , Camp C et al. Network analysis of intrinsic functional brain connectivity in male and female adult smokers: a preliminary study . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 9. Moran LV , Stoeckel LE , Wang K et al. Nicotine increases activation to anticipatory valence cues in anterior insula and striatum . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 10. Lawn W , Freeman TP , East K et al. The acute effects of a dopamine D3 receptor preferring agonist on motivation for cigarettes in dependent and occasional cigarette smokers . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 11. Hamouda AK , Jackson A , Bagdas D , Damaj MI . Reversal of nicotine withdrawal signs through positive allosteric modulation of alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in male mice . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . 12. Tucker MR , Laugesen M , Grace RC . Estimating demand and cross-price elasticity for Very Low Nicotine Content (VLNC) cigarettes using a simulated demand task . Nicotine Tob Res . 2017 . © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Nicotine and Tobacco Research – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 12, 2018
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