11/20/2007

WVU Program Aims to Help West Virginians Quit Smoking
New Tobacco Reduction Program Launched at Health Sciences Center

Scientists from West Virginia University are working together to develop new strategies that will help people quit smoking.  The Translational Tobacco Reduction Research Program, or T2R2, features a multidisciplinary group of scientists with the common goal of changing West Virginia’s bad habit.        

According to the American Lung Association of West Virginia, more than 4,000 West Virginians die each year, or 12 every day, from smoking-related diseases.  4,000 children under the age of 18 become new daily smokers each year.      

A joint program of WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and the West Virginia Prevention Research Center, T2R2 was created earlier this year to unite all of the WVU scientists who are conducting the latest tobacco cessation and prevention research.  It currently has 35 faculty investigators and five graduate students who are actively pursuing research projects from various WVU departments. 

"Through T2R2 people are coming together in ways they have not before," said Kimberly Horn Ed.D., director of T2R2 and associate director of population health research at the Cancer Center.  “We want to continue to let people know who we are and what we are doing, so we can continue to address the problem of tobacco addiction more aggressively each year.”

One of the researchers working with T2R2 is Zhongxin Wu, Ph.D., research assistant professor of neurobiology & anatomy at WVU School of Medicine.  Wu is leading a two-year study dealing with the effects of secondhand smoke during early life and the occurrence of adult asthma.  
                                  
“We need T2R2 because tobacco addiction is causing harm to the people of West Virginia and we have the opportunity to change that,” Horn said.  

T2R2 held its kick-off reception in the HSC Student Learning Center on Nov. 9 with guest speakers Bruce Adkins, director of the West Virginia Division of Tobacco Prevention, and Donley Studlar, Ph.D., a WVU Political Science Professor and expert on the politics behind tobacco regulations.

To learn more about the Translational Tobacco Reduction Research Program, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/mbrcc/t2r2 .

- WVU -


07-257
For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
johnsa@wvuh.com
dc: 11-16-07

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