The Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulations (CAsToR) aims to provide evidence-based and expert-informed modeling of the behavioral and public health impacts of FDA tobacco rules or other regulatory actions, focusing on Impact Analysis, Behavior and Health Effects as Scientific Domains. In TCORS 3.0, CAsToR has four projects based on the detailed analyses of current and historical tobacco use patterns in the US for the whole population and for key population subgroups.
Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA must show that any new rule to regulate the marketing and sale of tobacco products or to regulate the characteristics of tobacco products is appropriate for the protection of public health. The Act requires the FDA to show the impact on the population as a whole, including users and nonusers of the tobacco products, and to take into account initiation, cessation and toxicity. With the recent Deeming Regulations extending the jurisdiction of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, aka e-cigarettes) and cigars, public health analyses of regulations will need to account for the complexities of effects over a broad range of products. For the FDA to determine whether potential regulatory actions are appropriate for the protection of public health, reliable, research-based projections of behavioral and public health impacts are thus required. Detailed and reliable simulation modeling of tobacco use and related health outcomes is a tool that can assist the FDA to make such projections of regulatory impacts.
The Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulations (CAsToR) provides a comprehensive approach for evaluating the behavioral and population health impacts of FDA regulations. Our integrative theme is to provide the CTP external modeling capabilities to evaluate the potential health and behavioral impacts of individual and combined regulations, as well as to provide modeling capabilities on a rapid response basis.
The primary scientific domains of the Center are Impact Analysis, Behavior and Health Effects. Our Center has six aims:
- Aim 1: Analyze longitudinal and cross-sectional polytobacco use data to estimate rates of tobacco use prevalence, initiation, cessation, and switching that inform CAsToR's tobacco simulation models.
- Aim 2: Expand existing models so they can project a broader range of health impacts, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
- Aim 3: Develop evidence-based estimates of the major behavioral impacts from FDA tobacco regulatory actions, for the entire US population and for relevant vulnerable populations in the US.
- Aim 4: Develop the capacity to provide increasingly reliable, research-based projections of future use patterns and health outcomes for current and new products.
- Aim 5: Provide administrative infrastructure and substantive capacity to provide increasingly comprehensive evidence-based projections of behavioral and public health impacts from current and potential new FDA tobacco regulatory actions.
- Aim 6: Educate existing and next generation tobacco control researchers about tobacco control policy modeling and how to make their research more relevant to policy-focused efforts.
- Rafael Meza, PhDBritish Columbia Cancer Research Institute
- Rafael Meza, PhD
- British Columbia Cancer Research Institute: Distinguished Scientist
- Positions: Administrative (ADMIN) Core; CAsToR Principal Investigator; Research Project 1; Research Project 4
- BCCRC: bccrc.caUM: sph.umich.edu
- Dr. Meza is Principal Investigator of the Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulation (CAsToR) and the Coordinating Principal Investigator of the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) Lung Working Group. Prior to joining BC Cancer, Dr. Meza was Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health at the University of Michigan and co-Leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences of the Rogel Cancer Center. Dr. Meza is a Distinguished Scientist at the British Columbia Cancer Research Institute and Distinguished Scholar in Lung Cancer Screening and Prevention at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Meza's research interests lie at the interface of epidemiology, biostatistics and biomathematics. He is an expert in lung cancer epidemiology and prevention and tobacco epidemiology and control. The goal of his research program is to characterize the impact of disease prevention and control interventions, informing stakeholders and policymakers as to the most effective and efficient ways to improve population health. In particular, he is interested in cancer risk assessment and the analysis of cancer epidemiology data using mechanistic models of carcinogenesis. He is also interested in the mathematical modeling of chronic and infectious disease dynamics and its applications in disease prevention public health policy design.
- David Levy, PhDGeorgetown University
- David Levy, PhD
- Georgetown University: Professor, Georgetown University Medical Center
- Positions: Administrative (ADMIN) Core; CAsToR Principal Investigator; Research Project 1; Research Project 3
- Webpage: globalhealth.georgetown.edu
- Dr. David Levy is PI for CAsToR at Georgetown University. Dr. Levy received his PhD in Economics from UCLA (USA), and is currently a Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University. He has published over 250 articles, in renowned journals such as the American Economic Review, BMJ, AJPH, JAMA, The Lancet, Tobacco Control, and PLOS Medicine. He has been principal investigator of grants from the CDC, WHO, the National Cancer Institute, and Bloomberg/Gates Foundation. Dr. Levy currently oversees the design and development of the SimSmoke tobacco policy simulation model, for which he has developed models for over 40 countries covering 85% of the world’s population, and has recently developed models of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette use. In addition to being a principal investigator on the TCORS grant, he is currently a principal investor on a National Cancer Institute grant with the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) in which he has developed models of e-cigarette use for Canada, England and France; and is a principal investigator on the National Cancer Institute CISNET Lung Group. He has recently published articles providing a public health framework for evaluating e-cigarettes and showing the potential benefits of e-cigarettes, as well as papers on the cigarette and e-cigarette markets.
- David Mendez, PhDUniversity of Michigan
- David Mendez, PhD
- University of Michigan: Professor of Health Management and Policy
- Positions: Administrative (ADMIN) Core; Career Enhancement Core (CEC); CAsToR Principal Investigator; Research Project 2
- Webpage: sph.umich.edu
- Dr. David Mendez is PI for CAsToR at the University of Michigan and Core Lead for the Career Enhancement Core (CEC) and Project Lead for Research Project 2. He is also a member of the CAsToR Steering Committee. Dr. Mendez is an Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on modeling trends of cigarette smoking cessation or switching to e-cigarettes. Dr. Mendez’s research also investigates the financial implications of these trends, with specific focus on tobacco control in the United States.