20 Sep 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), as part of an on-going inter-agency partnership, have 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 US, 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.
Using designated funds from FDA, TCORS will be coordinated by NIH's Office of Disease Prevention, led by Dr David M Murray, and administered by three NIH institutes, National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
"For the first time, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the federal government, through the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), is able to bring science-based regulation to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products," said Dr Margaret A Hamburg, Commissioner, FDA.
"The FDA is committed to a science-based approach that addresses the complex public health issues raised by tobacco product regulation." The agency is establishing science and research programs designed to increase understanding of the risks associated with tobacco use.
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.
"While we've made tremendous strides in reducing the use of tobacco products in the US, smoking still accounts for one in five deaths each year, which is far too many," said Dr Francis S Collins, director, NIH. "FDA/NIH partnerships like the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science keep us focused on reducing the burden and devastation of preventable disease caused by tobacco use."
Comprised of scientists with expertise in fields including epidemiology, behavior, biology, medicine, economics, chemistry, toxicology, addictions, public health, communications, and marketing, the TCORS program is the centerpiece of the FDA/NIH collaboration to foster research relevant to tobacco regulatory science.