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Social and behavioral prevention and treatment

Advance innovative research and collaborations that prevent or reduce tobacco use and the impact of tobacco-related diseases among California’s priority groups (see a list of priority groups under Research Award).

TRDRP supports research and collaborations that prevent or reduce tobacco use and the impact of tobacco-related diseases among California’s priority groups. California universities and non-profit, community-based organizations with capacity to conduct research in diverse communities are encouraged to address the social, structural, and addictive correlates of tobacco use and related disease, as well as educational and clinical interventions to reduce the deleterious effects from all forms of nicotine delivery systems. Research from the social, behavioral, and public health sciences that provide evidence to battle nicotine addiction and the predatory marketing of the tobacco industry to diverse communities is needed. Community settings including schools, clinics, community nonprofit organizations, and multi-unit housing sites are prime collaborators for this research effort. 

The program also aims to solicit proposals for research that will have a major impact in identifying, developing, implementing, or testing strategies to prevent, reduce, or eliminate racial or ethnic disparities in tobacco use or tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. It is time for the field to move beyond simple conceptualizations of race and ethnicity, conceptualizing race as a social construct and meaningfully unpacking race and ethnicity using metrics that allow for comparisons across studies, and with an emphasis in integrating experiences related to the commercial, structural, and social inequities that translate to determinants of health for priority populations in California. Research that is embedded in the community’s experience and fosters community scientist training focused on tobacco prevention and control will ensure more rapid advances in this impact-driven scientific area. As such, TRDRP continues to solicits projects across the full spectrum of community engagement through Core Award grant types, and has the Community-Partnered Participatory Research Award (CPPRA) grant type to support collaborative community-partnered investigative teams to conduct research projects that address issues prioritized by the community and that reflect lived experiences.

Examples of relevant research topics:  

  • Health behavior change interventions that promote cessation of: multiple tobacco product use, flavored tobacco product use, synthetic nicotine products (e.g., nicotine pouches), heated tobacco, tobacco-cannabis co-use, and poly-substance use that includes tobacco use. 
  • Development and testing of new theoretical frameworks that advance our understanding of the benefits/limitations of culturally tailored tobacco prevention and treatment interventions compared to general population-based interventions with consideration of intersectional issues and structural determinants of health.
  • Research that elucidates the role of structural, commercial, and social determinants of health in shaping the tobacco epidemic facing priority populations in California – Research that examines strategies to reduce indicators of tobacco-related health disparities and structural determinants of poor mental and physical health.
  • Innovative use of virtual technologies to expand the reach and access of evidence-based or practice-informed tobacco prevention and cessation interventions focused on priority groups and rural areas of California.
  • Research that broadly develops surveillance tools to track social, behavioral, and commercial changes of the tobacco retail environment and industry marketing strategies that can worsen tobacco-related health disparities.
  • Implementation science research that can directly inform innovation in the provision of tobacco prevention and cessation services that addresses health insurance coverage issues and expands access to Californians with lower income levels and/or Medi-Cal enrollees. Development and testing of methods that can translate to the adoption, integration, and routinization of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into best practices for health care and public health settings to improve quit attempts, abstinence rates, and reduce the number of new tobacco users entering the market. Machine learning methods and other artificial intelligence technologies that focus on economies of scale in health care systems are essential for a competitive implementation science focused research application.
  • Innovations in the measurement of social constructs and typology of study designs available to examine and track changes in tobacco-related health disparity indicators over time. For example, designs that include analysis with sufficient power to stratify by important sociodemographic characteristics (race/ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+ identity) and innovations in the measurement of structural determinants and commercial determinants of health are critically needed in the field.

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