Treating Nicotine and Tobacco Dependence:
The Science of Quitting

A Congressional Briefing Sponsored by The Friends OF NIDA
In conjunction with The Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus

Thursday, November 8, 2007

On November 8, the Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in conjunction with the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, held its ninth in a series of briefings designed to educate members of Congress and their staff about substance abuse issues. The briefing focused on nicotine and tobacco dependence and asserted that while tobacco use is still an enormous threat, control efforts over the last half century have been remarkable considering that not too long ago there were no scientifically validated treatments for tobacco dependence and treatment had little place in health care delivery. Today, however, numerous effective treatments exist, and tobacco use assessment and intervention are considered to be requisite duties of clinicians and health care delivery entities.

Nora D. Volkow, MD, Director of NIDA, opened the briefing with an overview of the Institute’s tobacco research portfolio. APA Fellow Timothy Baker, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Director of Research at the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, followed with a discussion of current findings on the treatment of tobacco use that will serve as the basis of the 2008 PHS Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence. Michael Fiore, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, then provided his perspective as both a physician treating smokers for the last 20 years and Chair of the panel revising the PHS tobacco treatment guidelines. The event concluded with the success stories of Shirley Reimer and Preston Young, two patients who quit smoking using a combination of national telephone help lines and nicotine replacement therapies.

The briefing garnered an unprecedented 29 Friends of NIDA scientific and professional organization cosponsors, which reflects the serious concern surrounding the issue. It was quite a timely event, considering the FDA regulation of tobacco legislation that has been swirling around Capitol Hill in the 110th Congress. Congressional staff also seemed to be interested, as multiple representatives from approximately twenty House, Senate, and Committee offices attended the event.

Dr. Volkow's presentation [PDF]

Pictures from the briefing:

Nora D. Volkow, MD

Nora D. Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, provided an overview of the Institute's tobacco research portfolio.
Timothy Baker, PhD

Timothy Baker, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Director of Research at the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, discussed current findings on the treatment of tobacco use that will serve as the basis of the 2008 PHS Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence.
Michael Fiore, MD, MPH

Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, provided his perspective as both a physician treating smokers for the last 20 years and Chair of the panel revising the PHS tobacco treatment guidelines.
Shirley Reimer

Shirley Reimer, a patient who quit smoking through the National Quitline, shared the story of her success.
Preston Young

Preston Young, a patient who quit smoking during a translational clinical research study funded by NIDA, talked about his personal experience with nicotine addiction.
Bill Dewey, PhD; Timothy Baker, PhD; Michael Fiore, MD, MPH; Nora D. Volkow, MD; Shirley Reimer; and Preston Young

Bill Dewey, PhD, Chair of the Friends of NIDA, with briefing speakers Baker, Fiore, Volkow, Reimer, and Young.