TCORS 2.0: Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulations (CAsToR)


Expanded Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility Would Save Lives
A doctor talking to a patient
POSTED: Wed Mar 10, 2021
Reducing the initial screening age and including those with lower smoking exposures would help avert lung cancer-related deaths, according to a new study by the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, led by Rafael Meza, associate professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. “Expanding screening eligibility will help further curb lung cancer deaths, which account for 1 in 4 cancer deaths in the U.S.—more than colon, breast and prostate cancer deaths combined,” said Meza, who is also co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. “According to our analyses, the new recommendations will reduce disparities in lung cancer eligibility by sex and race, which hopefully will result in reductions in lung cancer disparities in the U.S. Similar screening programs could also be adopted in other countries, where lung cancer is also a huge health concern.”
Read the full story at Michigan Public Health News Center
Michigan Public Health Launches Master of Science Degree in Computational Epidemiology and Systems Modeling
A world map with abstract lines
POSTED: Wed Mar 10, 2021
The University of Michigan School of Public Health is now offering a Master of Science (MS) degree in Computational Epidemiology and Systems Modeling. In the program, students are trained to become highly skilled epidemiologists who can understand and analyze public health problems with mathematical and statistical models. “A wide array of research topics, like modeling the impact of cancer prevention interventions or disease surveillance modeling, serve as prime examples of the need for more highly trained experts in this field,” says Rafael Meza, associate chair and associate professor of Epidemiology at Michigan Public Health.
Read the full story at Michigan Public Health News Center
Menthol cigarettes linked to 10 million extra smokers, hundreds of thousands of premature deaths
Authors Thuy Le and David Mendez, PhD
Authors Thuy Le (CAsToR New Investigator) and David Mendez, PhD (CAsToR Co-Investigator)
POSTED: Thu Feb 25, 2021
Menthol cigarettes contributed to 378,000 premature deaths in the United States between 1980 to 2018, according to a new University of Michigan study. “Our results indicate that mentholated tobacco products have had a significant impact on public health and could continue to pose a substantial health risk,” — David Mendez, associate professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the U-M School of Public Health. “Previous studies have shown that menthol experimentation is positively associated with progression to established smoking. In addition, menthol smokers are less likely to quit smoking than nonmenthol smokers. These observations were incorporated in the model and are the key factors in determining the outcomes of our study,” — Thuy Le, Department of Health Management and Policy at U-M's School of Public Health.
Read the full story at Michigan News
CAsToR e-Announcements (February 2021)
Rafael Meza, PhD
POSTED: Thu Feb 18, 2021
DESCRIPTION: A bi-monthly e-newsletter of CAsToR highlights, events and more.  
Dear CAsToR members and colleagues, We are excited to share with you our first CAsToR e-Announcements. This will be a monthly e-newsletter where we will share highlights, events, research progress and more. If you have any news or updates you would like us to share, please send an email to Amanda Dudley ( Hope everyone is doing well and please stay safe. Dr. Rafael Meza, CAsToR co-Principal Investigator
Read the CAsToR e-Announcements (February 2021)

Selected news

TCORS 2.0 Co-Investigator Kenneth E. Warner, PhD quoted in ‘Vaping Doesn't Keep Young People From Smoking Cigarettes Later’
Kenneth E. Warner, PhD
POSTED: Tue Jan 26, 2021
“This is the most fraught, controversial issue in my 45 years in tobacco control, it has torn the field asunder,” said Ken Warner, dean emeritus of public health, regarding the debate in which some researchers see vaping as a useful way to reduce harm to existing smokers, while others argue it is too dangerous and will lead a new generation to start smoking.
Read the full story at
Paper Analyzes Impacts of Cigarette and E-Cigarette Deal
Cigarettes in ashtray
POSTED: Tue Aug 11, 2020
DESCRIPTION: Members of the University of Michigan and Georgetown University’s Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulation (CAsToR) recently published a new commentary analyzing the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to stop a deal between Altria, the largest US cigarette company, and the leading vaping company, Juul Labs. Published in Tobacco Regulatory Science, the paper evaluates the December 2018 offer from Altria for a 35% share of Juul Labs, which would give Altria market power in the growing e-cigarette industry and ultimately control of the broader nicotine delivery product market.  
Read the full story at Michigan Public Health News Center
Web-based Tool Calculates Lives Saved, Policy Implications of Tobacco Control
'No smoking' sign in restaurant
POSTED: Mon Aug 10, 2020
DESCRIPTION: New estimates from a web-based tool that tracks tobacco use created by the CISNET Lung Group show that the recent federal law raising the age of legal tobacco purchase to 21 could save over 100,000 lives over the rest of this century. The same tool further breaks down the lives saved within each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. For example, the federal law will save 8,900 lives in the state of New York, 13,800 in Florida and more than 6,800 in North Carolina by 2100.
Read the announcement from Yale on Twitter  
Read the full story at Yale School of Medicine
2020 CAsToR Pilot Awardees Announced
POSTED: Tue Jul 21, 2020
Read more about the Pilot + Feasibility program
Menthol cigarette ban in the US may lower number of smokers
POSTED: Wed Jul 08, 2020
DESCRIPTION: Dr. David Levy, lead author of the study said: “Previous studies suggest that the frequency of menthol smoking has remained consistent, despite declines in non-menthol smoking. Although the role of menthol flavouring in those who start and quit smoking is well-documented, it has been less clear how a menthol ban may impact these behaviours. Our study aims to examine this by utilising studies focused on the US and comparable regions.”  
Read the full story at Medical Express