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Behavioral Economics and Tobacco Control: Current Practices and Future Opportunities

Littman, Dalia; Sherman, Scott E; Troxel, Andrea B; Stevens, Elizabeth R
Despite considerable progress, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. To address the considerable health and economic burden of tobacco use, the development of improved tobacco control and treatment interventions is critical. By combining elements of economics and psychology, behavioral economics provides a framework for novel solutions to treat smokers who have failed to quit with traditional smoking cessation interventions. The full range of behavioral economic principles, however, have not been widely utilized in the realm of tobacco control and treatment. Given the need for improved tobacco control and treatment, the limited use of other behavioral economic principles represents a substantial missed opportunity. For this reason, we sought to describe the principles of behavioral economics as they relate to tobacco control, highlight potential gaps in the behavioral economics tobacco research literature, and provide examples of potential interventions that use each principle.
PMCID:9266334
PMID: 35805833
ISSN: 1660-4601
CID: 5278442

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tobacco Treatment Program Implementation at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

Hohl, Sarah D; Shoenbill, Kimberly A; Taylor, Kathryn L; Minion, Mara; Bates-Pappas, Gleneara E; Hayes, Rashelle B; Nolan, Margaret B; Simmons, Vani N; Steinberg, Michael B; Park, Elyse R; Ashing, Kimlin; Beneventi, Diane; Cox, Lisa Sanderson; Goldstein, Adam O; King, Andrea; Kotsen, Chris; Presant, Cary A; Sherman, Scott E; Sheffer, Christine E; Warren, Graham W; Adsit, Robert T; Bird, Jennifer E; D'Angelo, Heather; Fiore, Michael C; Nguyen, Claire Van Thanh; Pauk, Danielle; Rolland, Betsy; Rigotti, Nancy A
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted cancer screening and treatment delivery, but COVID-19's impact on tobacco cessation treatment for cancer patients who smoke has not been widely explored. METHODS:We conducted a sequential cross-sectional analysis of data collected from 34 NCI-designated cancer centers participating in NCI's Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I), across three reporting periods: one prior to COVID-19 (January-June 2019) and two during the pandemic (January-June 2020, January-June 2021). Using McNemar's Test of Homogeneity, we assessed changes in services offered and implementation activities over time. RESULTS:The proportion of centers offering remote treatment services increased each year for Quitline referrals (56%, 68%, and 91%; p=.000), telephone counseling (59%, 79%, and 94%; p=.002), and referrals to Smokefree TXT (27%, 47%, and 56%; p=.006). Centers offering video-based counseling increased from 2020 to 2021 (18% to 59%; p=.006), Fewer than 10% of centers reported laying off tobacco treatment staff. Compared to early 2020, in 2021 C3I centers reported improvements in their ability to maintain staff and clinician morale, refer to external treatment services, train providers to deliver tobacco treatment, and modify clinical workflows. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated rapid transition to new telehealth program delivery of tobacco treatment for patients with cancer. C3I cancer centers adjusted rapidly to challenges presented by the pandemic, with improvements reported in staff morale and ability to train providers, refer patients to tobacco treatment, and modify clinical workflows. These factors enabled C3I centers to sustain evidence-based tobacco treatment implementation during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. IMPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:This work describes how NCI-designated cancer centers participating in the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I) adapted to challenges to sustain evidence-based tobacco use treatment programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work offers a model for resilience and rapid transition to remote tobacco treatment services delivery and proposes a policy and research agenda for telehealth services as an approach to sustaining evidence-based tobacco treatment programs.
PMID: 35778237
ISSN: 1469-994x
CID: 5281522

Development of a WeChat-based Mobile Messaging Smoking Cessation Intervention for Chinese Immigrant Smokers: Qualitative Interview Study

Jiang, Nan; Rogers, Erin S; Cupertino, Paula; Zhao, Xiaoquan; Cartujano-Barrera, Francisco; Lyu, Joanne Chen; Hu, Lu; Sherman, Scott E
BACKGROUND:Smoking remains a major public health issue among Chinese immigrants. Smoking cessation programs that focus on this population are scarce and have a limited population-level impact due to their low reach. Mobile messaging interventions have the potential to reach large audiences and expand smokers' access to smoking cessation treatment. OBJECTIVE:This study describes the development of a culturally and linguistically appropriate mobile messaging smoking cessation intervention for Chinese immigrant smokers delivered via WeChat, the most frequently used social media platform among Chinese people globally. METHODS:This study had 2 phases. In phase 1, we developed a mobile message library based on social cognitive theory and the US Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. We culturally adapted messages from 2 social cognitive theory-based text messaging smoking cessation programs (SmokefreeTXT and Decídetexto). We also developed new messages targeting smokers who were not ready to quit smoking and novel content addressing Chinese immigrant smokers' barriers to quitting and common misconceptions related to willpower and nicotine replacement therapy. In phase 2, we conducted in-depth interviews with 20 Chinese immigrant smokers (including 7 women) in New York City between July and August 2021. The interviews explored the participants' smoking and quitting experiences followed by assessment of the text messages. Participants reviewed 17 text messages (6 educational messages, 3 self-efficacy messages, and 8 skill messages) via WeChat and rated to what extent the messages enhanced their motivation to quit, promoted confidence in quitting, and increased awareness about quitting strategies. The interviews sought feedback on poorly rated messages, explored participant preferences for content, length, and format, discussed their concerns with WeChat cessation intervention, and solicited recommendations for frequency and timing of messages. RESULTS:Overall, participants reported that the messages enhanced their motivation to quit, offered encouragement, and made them more informed about how to quit. Participants particularly liked the messages about the harms of smoking and strategies for quitting. They reported barriers to applying some of the quitting strategies, including coping with stress and staying abstinent at work. Participants expressed strong interest in the WeChat mobile messaging cessation intervention and commented on its potential to expand their access to smoking cessation treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Mobile messages are well accepted by Chinese immigrant smokers. Research is needed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of WeChat mobile messaging smoking cessation interventions for promoting abstinence among Chinese immigrant smokers.
PMID: 35771603
ISSN: 2561-326x
CID: 5264312

Predictors of electronic nicotine product quit attempts and cessation: Analysis of waves 3 and 4 of the PATH study

Krishnan, Nandita; Berg, Carla J; Elmi, Angelo; Klemperer, Elias M; Sherman, Scott E; Abroms, Lorien C
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Identifying theory-based predictors of electronic nicotine product (ENP) quit attempts and cessation can guide the development of effective vaping cessation interventions, which are currently limited. This study examined predictors of ENP quit attempts and cessation among adult ENP users. METHODS:Using data from wave 3 (W3; 2015-2016) current established ENP users in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study, we used multivariable logistic regression to identify predictors of (i) wave 4 (W4; 2016-2018) quit attempts (unweighted n = 1,135); and (ii) W4 cessation among those who made a quit attempt (unweighted n = 610). Predictors included Social Cognitive Theory (SCT)-based cognitive (interest in quitting, self-efficacy to quit, outcome expectancies, risk perception), behavioral (smoking status, and use of combustibles, non-combustibles, cannabis, and alcohol), and socio-environmental (perceived disapproval, household rules, exposure to advertising) factors. RESULTS:Between W3 and W4, 51.7% of W3 ENP users made a quit attempt. Among those who tried quitting, 68.4% stopped using ENPs. SCT-based predictors of ENP quit attempts included higher interest in quitting ENPs (aOR = 1.18), greater self-efficacy to quit ENPs (aOR = 1.31), and currently using cigarettes (vs non-smoker; aOR = 1.71), non-combustibles (aOR = 2.25), and cannabis (aOR = 1.80). Predictors of ENP cessation included greater self-efficacy to quit ENPs (aOR = 1.33), greater perceived risk of ENPs (aOR = 1.35), and being a current smoker (vs non-smoker; aOR = 3.28). CONCLUSIONS:ENP cessation interventions should address cognitive factors, particularly self-efficacy, as it predicted quit attempts and cessation. Cigarette smoking among dual users should be monitored and addressed to ensure that those who quit using ENPs do not maintain cigarette use.
PMID: 35810644
ISSN: 1873-6327
CID: 5279632

A novel simulation-based approach to training for recruitment of older adults to clinical trials

Fisher, Harriet; Zabar, Sondra; Chodosh, Joshua; Langford, Aisha; Trinh-Shevrin, Chau; Sherman, Scott; Altshuler, Lisa
BACKGROUND:The need to engage adults, age 65 and older, in clinical trials of conditions typical in older populations, (e.g. hypertension, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease and related dementia) is exponentially increasing. Older adults have been markedly underrepresented in clinical trials, often exacerbated by exclusionary study criteria as well as functional dependencies that preclude participation. Such dependencies may further exacerbate communication challenges. Consequently, the evidence of what works in subject recruitment is less generalizable to older populations, even more so for those from racial and ethnic minority and low-income communities. METHODS:To support capacity of research staff, we developed a virtual, three station simulation (Group Objective Structured Clinical Experience-GOSCE) to teach research staff communication skills. This 2-h course included a discussion of challenges in recruiting older adults; skills practice with Standardized Participants (SPs) and faculty observer who provided immediate feedback; and debrief to highlight best practices. Each learner had opportunities for active learning and observational learning. Learners completed a retrospective pre-post survey about the experience. SP completed an 11-item communication checklist evaluating the learner on a series of established behaviorally anchored communication skills (29). RESULTS:In the research staff survey, 92% reported the overall activity taught them something new; 98% reported it provided valuable feedback; 100% said they would like to participate again. In the SP evaluation there was significant variation: the percent well-done of items by case ranged from 25-85%. CONCLUSIONS:Results from this pilot suggest that GOSCEs are a (1) acceptable; (2) low cost; and (3) differentiating mechanism for training and assessing research staff in communication skills and structural competency necessary for participant research recruitment.
PMCID:9238219
PMID: 35764920
ISSN: 1471-2288
CID: 5278202

Response to Letter Regarding the Article "Association of E-Cigarettes With Erectile Dysfunction: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study" [Letter]

El Shahawy, Omar; Loney, Tom; Shah, Tanmik; Sherman, Scott E; Blaha, Michael J
PMID: 35690520
ISSN: 1873-2607
CID: 5283332

The Mediating Effect of E-Cigarette Harm Perception in the Relationship between E-Cigarette Advertising Exposure and E-Cigarette Use

Jiang, Nan; Xu, Shu; Li, Le; El-Shahawy, Omar; Freudenberg, Nicholas; Shearston, Jenni A; Sherman, Scott E
Exposure to e-cigarette advertising is associated with e-cigarette use among young people. This study examined the mediating effect of e-cigarette harm perception on the above relationship. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from 2112 college students in New York City in 2017-2018. The analytic sample comprised 2078 participants (58.6% females) who provided completed data. Structural equal modeling was performed to examine if e-cigarette harm perception mediated the relationship between e-cigarette advertising exposure (via TV, radio, large signs, print media, and online) and ever e-cigarette use and susceptibility to e-cigarette use. About 17.1% of participants reported ever e-cigarette use. Of never users, 17.5% were susceptible to e-cigarette use. E-cigarette advertising exposure was mainly through online sources (31.5%). Most participants (59.4%) perceived e-cigarettes as equally or more harmful than cigarettes. Advertising exposure showed different effects on e-cigarette harm perception depending on the source of the advertising exposure, but perceiving e-cigarettes as less harmful than cigarettes was consistently associated with e-cigarette use and susceptibility. Low harm perception mediated the association between advertising exposure (via online, TV, and radio) and ever e-cigarette use and between online advertising exposure and e-cigarette use susceptibility. Regulatory actions are needed to address e-cigarette marketing, particularly on the Internet.
PMID: 35627752
ISSN: 1660-4601
CID: 5232862

Substance use disorders and COVID-19: An analysis of nation-wide Veterans Health Administration electronic health records

Hasin, Deborah S; Fink, David S; Olfson, Mark; Saxon, Andrew J; Malte, Carol; Keyes, Katherine M; Gradus, Jaimie L; Cerdá, Magdalena; Maynard, Charles C; Keyhani, Salomeh; Martins, Silvia S; Livne, Ofir; Mannes, Zachary L; Sherman, Scott E; Wall, Melanie M
BACKGROUND:Substance use disorders (SUD) elevate the risk for COVID-19 hospitalization, but studies are inconsistent on the relationship of SUD to COVID-19 mortality. METHODS:Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients treated in 2019 and evaluated in 2020 for COVID-19 (n=5,556,315), of whom 62,303 (1.1%) tested positive for COVID-19 (COVID-19+). Outcomes were COVID-19+ by 11/01/20, hospitalization, ICU admission, or death within 60 days of a positive test. Main predictors were any ICD-10-CM SUDs, with substance-specific SUDs (cannabis, cocaine, opioid, stimulant, sedative) explored individually. Logistic regression produced unadjusted and covariate-adjusted odds ratios (OR; aOR). RESULTS:Among COVID-19+ patients, 19.25% were hospitalized, 7.71% admitted to ICU, and 5.84% died. In unadjusted models, any SUD and all substance-specific SUDs except cannabis use disorder were associated with COVID-19+(ORs=1.06-1.85); adjusted models produced similar results. Any SUD and all substance-specific SUDs were associated with hospitalization (aORs: 1.24-1.91). Any SUD, cocaine and opioid disorder were associated with ICU admission in unadjusted but not adjusted models. Any SUD, cannabis, cocaine, and stimulant disorders were inversely associated with mortality in unadjusted models (OR=0.27-0.46). After adjustment, associations with mortality were no longer significant. In ad hoc analyses, adjusted odds of mortality were lower among the 49.9% of COVID-19+ patients with SUD who had SUD treatment in 2019, but not among those without such treatment. CONCLUSIONS:In VHA patients, SUDs are associated with COVID-19 hospitalization but not COVID-19 mortality. SUD treatment may provide closer monitoring of care, ensuring that these patients received needed medical attention, enabling them to ultimately survive serious illness.
PMCID:8891118
PMID: 35279457
ISSN: 1879-0046
CID: 5205102

Providing Hearing Assistance to Veterans in the Emergency Department: A Qualitative Study

Dickson, Victoria Vaughan; Blustein, Jan; Weinstein, Barbara; Goldfeld, Keith; Radcliffe, Kate; Burlingame, Madeleine; Grudzen, Corita R; Sherman, Scott E; Smilowitz, Jessica; Chodosh, Joshua
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Effective communication is essential to good health care, and hearing loss disrupts patient-provider communication. For the more than 2 million veterans with severe hearing loss, communication is particularly challenging in noisy health care environments such as emergency departments. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe patient and provider perspectives of feasibility and potential benefit of providing a hearing assistance device, a personal amplifier, during visits to an emergency department in an urban setting affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. METHODS:This qualitative descriptive study was conducted in parallel with a randomized controlled study. We completed a semistructured interview with 11 veterans and 10 health care providers to elicit their previous experiences with patient-provider communication in the ED setting and their perspectives on hearing screening and using the personal amplifier in the emergency department. Interview data were analyzed using content analysis and Atlas.ti V8.4 software (Scientific Software Development GmbH, Berlin, Germany). RESULTS:The veteran sample (n = 11) had a mean age of 80.3 years (SD = 10.2). The provider sample included 7 nurses and 3 physicians. In the ED setting, hearing loss disrupts patient-provider communication. Screening for hearing loss in the emergency department was feasible except in urgent/emergent cases. The use of the personal amplifier made communication more effective and less effortful for both veterans and providers. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Providing the personal amplifier improved the ED experience for veterans and offers a promising intervention that could improve health care quality and safety for ED patient populations.
PMID: 35172928
ISSN: 1527-2966
CID: 5285562

Assessing Equitable Inclusion of Underrepresented Older Adults in Alzheimer's Disease, Related Cognitive Disorders, and Aging-Related Research: A Scoping Review

Godbole, Nisha; Kwon, Simona C; Beasley, Jeannette M; Roberts, Timothy; Kranick, Julie; Smilowitz, Jessica; Park, Agnes; Sherman, Scott E; Trinh-Shevrin, Chau; Chodosh, Joshua
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:The rapidly aging and diversifying U.S. population is challenged by increases in prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aging-related disorders. We conducted a scoping review to assess equitable inclusion of diverse older adult populations in aging research focused on National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored research. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS/METHODS:The scoping review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA-Scr) Protocol. The search was limited to NIH-funded studies focusing on aging, AD and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRD) and included adults aged 55+. The priority populations and health disparities put forth by the NIA Health Disparities Framework serve as a model for guiding inclusion criteria and for interpreting the representation of these underrepresented groups, including racial ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, rural populations, groups with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities. RESULTS:Our search identified 1,177 records, of which 436 articles were included in the analysis. Inclusion of individuals with ADRD and mild cognitive impairment, racial ethnic minorities, rural populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged, groups with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities were poorly specified in most studies. Studies used multiple recruitment methods, conducting studies in community settings (59%) and hospitals/clinics (38%) most frequently. Incentives, convenience factors, and sustained engagement via community-based and care partners were identified as key strategies for improved retention. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:This scoping review identified gaps in existing literature and aims for future work, including stronger research focus on, better inclusion of, and improved data collection and reporting of older adults from underrepresented groups.
PMID: 35472166
ISSN: 1758-5341
CID: 5217412