AHA Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center 

Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as part of an on-going interagency partnership, awarded a total of up to $53 million to fund tobacco-related research in fiscal year 2013 to create 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS).

Despite decades of work to reduce tobacco use in the United States, it continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease. A new, first-of-its-kind regulatory science tobacco program, TCORS is designed to generate research to inform the regulation of tobacco products to protect public health.

The TCORS program brings together investigators from across the country to aid in the development and evaluation of tobacco product regulations. Each TCORS application identified a targeted research goal. Taken together, the TCORS sites will increase knowledge across the full spectrum of basic and applied research on tobacco and addiction. The program also provides young investigators with training opportunities to ensure the development of the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists.

The American Heart Association is one of the 14 centers to receive funding from the TCORS grant. As a result of this grant, the AHA Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center (A-TRAC) has been formed.

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The TCORS is a partnership to help inform tobacco product regulation and address the research priorities related to the regulatory authority of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. The partnership will:  
  • Rigorously evaluate the cardiovascular effects of cigarette smoke and smokeless tobacco.
  • Assess whether the biomarkers of cardiovascular injury also reflect tobacco-induced cardiovascular damage in humans, and if these biomarkers predict subclinical cardiovascular disease and major cardiovascular clinical events.
  • Use the community-based participatory research infrastructure of the Jackson Heart Study, HCHS-SOL and an Appalachian school-based cohort to examine behavior in smokers and smokeless tobacco users. It will also look at perceptions about tobacco products, FDA regulation and tobacco advertising. 
The research supported by the new initiative will focus on seven FDA tobacco-related research interest areas:
  1. Diversity of tobacco products;
  2. Reducing addiction;
  3. Reducing toxicity and carcinogenicity;
  4. Adverse health consequences;
  5. Communications;
  6. Marketing of tobacco products;
  7. Economies and policies.

A-TRAC Mission Statement

The American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center (A-TRAC) houses programs of multidisciplinary research to inform the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products as well as facilitate effective communications for FDA-CTP regulatory policies. A-TRAC is designed to collaborate with the other Centers within the TCORS program to share information, assess scientific progress in the field, identify new research opportunities, participate in cross-site scientific working groups, and form inter-center alliances to promote discovery, address research gaps, and resolve areas of scientific disagreement.

As a part of the larger Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS), our mission is to aid the development and evaluation of tobacco product regulation by the FDA and thereby contribute to the protection of public health and reduction of tobacco-related disease, disability and death. We believe that it is important to understand the cardiovascular effects of tobacco products and to identify biomarkers of CVD risk that can be associated with tobacco exposure in order to set standards for tobacco products to protect health. An effective communications campaign can be developed from the knowledge of perceptions of risk of tobacco use and FDA’s regulatory authority in multiple ethnicities and vulnerable populations. The Center aims to conduct comprehensive research addressing the FDA’s research priorities and training a new generation of investigators of tobacco regulatory science.


Visit the NIH Website for more information about TCORS.

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