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Faculty & Staff Honors

UTHealth: Pérez Receives $1.38 Million Grant to Study Youth and Young Adult Initiation of Tobacco Use

Dr. Adriana Pérez, a professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science at UTHealth School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, Austin campus, has received a $1.38 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study changing patterns of tobacco use in U.S. youth and young adults.

The study will investigate at what age youth and young adults initiate tobacco use and identify associated risk factors. The goal is to better characterize future behaviors of individuals who use cigarettes and other tobacco products, and identify the distribution of the age of initiation of each tobacco product. The biostatistical analyses proposed will provide scientific data to inform the Food and Drug Administration’s authority on tobacco regulation and communication about tobacco products to protect the public’s health.

“Considering the new and emerging tobacco products available, estimating the age onset of initiation, changing patterns of tobacco use and correlates of tobacco use among U.S. youth and young adults is paramount to informing contemporary regulatory science,” says Dr. Pérez, principal investigator of the study.

The study involves a secondary analysis of the first three waves of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study among U.S Youth (12-17 years old) and young adults (18-24 years old) who reported never using tobacco products at wave 1. The researchers plan to explore socio-demographics, interpersonal, intrapersonal, social and environmental factors potentially associated with the age of initiation of different tobacco products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars (traditional cigars, cigarillo, filtered cigars), hookah and smokeless tobacco.


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