TCORS: Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulations (CAsToR)

Research Project 2: Modeling the Process of Nicotine Addiction among Youths and Young Adults and Its Potential Future Consequences

Although the literature on nicotine addiction is extensive, the various mechanisms by which an adolescent is exposed, experiments, and ultimately becomes addicted to a nicotine product, have not been studied in a comprehensive manner. There are studies focusing on the biological effects of nicotine on the brain; the social pressures confronting adolescents; and demographic and environmental factors such as race, gender, social norms, socioeconomic status, and education, among others. However, no study has investigated how the interactions among these factors influence an adolescent to start or quit using nicotine. This project proposes to develop a novel comprehensive agent-based model of nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults, including the influence of environmental, social, and biological factors on individuals' behaviors towards nicotine products (Aim 1). Use the model to explore potential pathways of nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults under different nicotine product mix availability, and the short-term consequences of potential regulatory actions over such products, such as reducing nicotine in combustible tobacco products to non-addictive levels but allowing higher levels of nicotine in non-combustible nicotine delivery products (Aim 2). Project the likely long-term consequences of nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults, including tobacco-use-attributed premature deaths and life-years-lost, and long-term nicotine dependence (Aim 3). This project will focus on Addiction, Behavior, Impact Analysis and Health Effects as Scientific Domains (RFA-OD-22-04).

Aims

  • Aim 1: To develop a comprehensive agent-based model of nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults, including the influence of environmental, social, and biological factors on individuals' behaviors towards nicotine products
  • Aim 2: To explore potential pathways of nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults under different nicotine product mix availability, and the short-term consequences of potential regulatory actions over such products, such as reducing nicotine in combustible tobacco products to non-addictive levels but allowing higher levels of nicotine in non-combustible nicotine delivery products
  • Aim 3: To project the likely long-term consequences of nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults for the various scenarios explored in Aim 2, including tobacco-use-attributed premature deaths and life-years-lost, and long-term nicotine dependence.

Leads

  • David Mendez, PhD
    David Mendez, PhD
    University 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
    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.
  • Thuy Le
    Thuy Le
    University of Michigan
    Thuy Le
    University of Michigan: Assistant Research Scientist, Health Management and Policy
    Position: Research Project 2
    Roles: New Investigator, Pilot PI Alumni, Trainee