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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tobacco Products

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FDA and NIH Study: Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health

January 25, 2013

In October 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new national study called the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study.  The PATH study will monitor and measure  why people start using tobacco, quit using it, and start using it again after they’ve quit including how the health of Americans are affected by tobacco use.

PATH - Population Assessment of Tobacco and HealthThe results of the PATH Study will inform and assess the impact of tobacco product regulations in order to help improve the health of Americans.


Specific Research Goals for the PATH Study

By measuring and accurately reporting on the social, behavioral, and health effects associated with tobacco-product use in the United States, the PATH Study will help provide an evidence-base to help make decisions  about future changes in tobacco products.  Specifically, the study aims to

  • Examine what makes people susceptible to tobacco-product use;
  • Evaluate initiation and use patterns, including use of
    • new products
    • multiple products, and
    • switching of tobacco products;
  • Study patterns of tobacco-product use, cessation and relapse;
  • Track potential behavioral and health impacts;
  • Assess differences in tobacco-related attitudes, behaviors, and health outcomes among racial/ethnic, gender, and age subgroups.


PATH Study Participants
  • Number of Participants: about 59,000
  • Age: 12 years and older who may or may not use tobacco.
  • Participants will be interviewed once a year for at least three years.


Learn more about this important research study.


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