Researchers Hope To Help A Billion Smokers

March 27, 1998

While policymakers debate tobacco legislation, hundreds of scientists are determining how best to help the world's 1.1 billion smokers.

Researchers from throughout the world are presenting their latest nicotine and tobacco findings at the annual meeting of The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, March 27-29. Mississippi Attorney General Michael Moore, a key figure in settlement negotiations with tobacco companies, will address the group the afternoon of March 27.

Among the research results being presented at the SRNT meeting are these findings:These findings are among several hundred presentations that tobacco scientists are making to their peers this week. The topics range in scope from the molecular to the societal; the behaviors and characteristics of smokers are reported from such diverse locales as Harlem and Japan. Many reports reflect a continual effort to find more effective ways to help not only cigarette smokers, but also users of smokeless tobacco and cigars.

The findings have implications for preventing tobacco use worldwide and helping the world's 1.1 billion smokers to quit. Among the 50 million smokers in the U.S. are about 4.5 million children and teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17. Tobacco-related health problems are the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Some 3 million persons worldwide die every year from tobacco-related disease, or approximately one person every 10 seconds.

Issues to be debated in symposia at the annual meeting include these: The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) is a premier scientific group whose 330 members include many of the world's leading authorities in nicotine and tobacco. The society is interdisciplinary and international, bringing together scientists from a variety of fields and from continents including Europe, South and North America, Australia, and Asia. Most members are affiliated with universities or with other research institutions.

Research activities that SRNT strives to encourage include basic research on nicotine's mechanisms and actions, and applied research on the behavioral, pharmacological, and health effects of tobacco use, nicotine dependence, and the therapeutic uses of nicotine. The society also encourages scientific research on public health efforts for the prevention and treatment of smoking and tobacco use by constituting a forum for scientific research on these issues.

In addition, SRNT strives to provide a means by which various legislative, governmental, regulatory, and other public agencies and the pharmaceutical industry can obtain expert advice and consultation on critical issues concerning tobacco use, nicotine dependence, and the therapeutic uses of nicotine. In 1997 the society issued a policy statement urging that legislators and other policymakers seek input from scientists before formulating tobacco policies and programs.

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The scientific findings announced at the meeting, a report of Michael Moore's speech, and other meeting news are posted at the following Web site, which will be updated throughout the meeting: www.sri.policy.com/policy/srnt/theLatest.htm

For more information, contact Janet Brigham, Ph.D., pager 1-888-858-0068 (enter your phone number and "#"). After March 29; call 650-859-2797.
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Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

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