Tobacco Control

Tobacco research is one of our key strengths, and we are known around the world for our unique depth of expertise and landmark contributions to tobacco control.  

A Global Problem

  • Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors of cancer, claiming more than 6 million lives globally each year. 
  • Various forms of worldwide tobacco and tobacco-derived products are associated with at least 19 cancer types, including cancers of the lung, mouth, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, stomach and cervix. 
  • There are striking disparities in smoking prevalence in the U.S., and nearly 80% of the 1 billion smokers in the world live in low- and middle-income countries.

Comprehensive Approach to Tobacco Control 

Minnesota’s research community has exceptional strengths in key areas of tobacco research spanning product testing, biomarker development and application, animal behavioral pharmacology research, human behavioral science, translational clinical research, cessation research, and epidemiology. 

The Institute expands this extensive reach by developing a global program focused on bridging tobacco product testing, exposure and effect assessment, and tobacco control policies. In addition, we break the inherent barriers of transferring cancer research findings from one country to others across the globe. Nowhere else in the world can you find this type of program paired with the experience, skills, and willingness to develop laboratory capacity in global low-resource settings. 

Global Partners

We collaborate with partners around the world, including in India, Netherlands, China, and Malaysia, to advance our tobacco research programs. While our primary focus is on low- and middle-income countries, partnerships with high-income countries allow us to address unique research questions in cancer prevention and to join efforts towards global cancer prevention equity.  In addition, Institute leaders are closely involved with the related bodies at the World Health Organization (WHO), such as TobLabNet and TobReg Study Group. 

Hands with Tobacco