Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers Participate In Annual Meeting Of The Society For Research On Nicotine And Tobacco

March 12, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. – Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., are participating in the 18th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) from March 13-16 at the Hilton Americas Houston Hotel in Texas.

According to Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D., chair of the Moffitt Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior and director of Moffitt’s Tobacco Research and Intervention Program (TRIP), the large contingent of Moffitt tobacco and nicotine researchers will be presenting research results that focus on smoking cessation and relapse, behavioral aspects of nicotine addiction, and the “cues” that can cause smoking relapse in those trying to quit.

“Our researchers conduct high-quality research of psychosocial and behavioral factors that contribute to tobacco use,” said Brandon. “We also focus on the development and evaluation of improved and novel methods for tobacco use prevention and smoking cessation.”

Their work covers research on nicotine addiction, relapse, intervention and conducting clinical trials. For example, Brandon and colleagues have developed a “self-help” relapse-prevention intervention program now in use by the National Cancer Institute.

During the SRNT 18th Annual Meeting, Brandon will give a plenary talk on “Back to the Future: Reinvigorating Behavioral Smoking Cessation Research” and be a discussant.

David Drobes, Ph.D., Moffitt senior member and TRIP researcher, will be a discussant. He is also the secretary/treasurer of SRNT.

Moffitt researchers attending SRNT will present research data on a number of featured topics noted below.

Predictors of Smoking Relapse Among Pregnant Women and Postpartum Women – Previous relapse prevention programs have been largely unsuccessful for this population. In a clinical trial to test a series of self-help relapse prevention materials for women recruited in their fourth to eighth month of pregnancy, researchers discovered important variables to target in treatment development and potential clinical applications for targeting pregnant women at-risk for smoking relapse.

Trajectories and Predictors of Relapse in Lung and Head and Neck Cancer Patients Following Surgery – Cancer patients who continue to smoke are at increased risk for adverse outcomes and poor survival rates. Little information is available regarding relapse in this population, and there are no interventions tailored to them. This study examined a large number of variables, including smoking-related emotions, fears, perception of risk, pain and predictors of smoking relapse. Findings guided the creation of a relapse intervention program for this population.

Effects of Mood Manipulations on Smoking Motivation: A Meta-Analysis – This study aimed at estimating the magnitude of cue-provoked cravings that increase when smokers are exposed to smoking-related cues. Discussion addresses potential moderators, implications and future directions for cue-related research.

Visual Search and Attentional Bias for Smoking Cues: The Role of Familiarity – Findings on the relationship between drug cues and drug use are mixed. This study investigated attentional bias among non-smokers, smokers and smokers who had abstained for 12 hours. Attentional bias for smoking cues was strongly associated with previous environmental exposure to tobacco smoke but not smoking behavior variables.

Cues, Cognition and Addiction: Alcohol-Nicotine Interactions – Alcohol and nicotine dependence are highly linked, but research on cross-cue reactivity has been limited. Results of this study suggest that cross-cue reactivity effects may extend beyond craving and shed a light on a potentially interactive role for smoking and drinking cues.

Self-reported vs. Behavioral Effects of Perceived Drug-Condition Assignment:  Inferring Expectancy Effects of Varenicline – This study conducted secondary analyses from a placebo-controlled, double-blind study on the effects of varenicline on craving and smoking reward looking at how participants expectancies about which medication they were receiving would affect their self-report responses on craving, smoking satisfaction and behavioral measures such as smoking motivation. Patients’ guess about medication (drug vs. placebo) predicted self-report measures.

The Effects of Exercise on Smoking Behavior – While it is known that exercise can reduce the desire to smoke, little is known about puff volume and puff duration after exercise. This study assessed whether smoking behavior is affected by session exercise during periods of nicotine withdrawal and satiation. Study participants displayed a “non-significant trend” towards reduced average puff volume and puff duration following exercise. The study suggests that smokers may inhale less cigarette smoke following exercise and that exercise may be helpful in attempts to quit smoking.

The Abstinence-Related Motivational Engagement Scale as a Predictor of Smoking Cessation Outcome – Little research has been conducted on changes in post-cessation motivation to remain smoke-free. This study tested the Abstinence-Related Motivational Engagement scale (ARME) as a predictor of smoking cessation outcome. Researchers found that motivational engagement is a significant predictor of six-month cessation.

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Located in Tampa, Moffitt Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, which recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is also a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer.


Media release by Florida Science Communications