Researcher Brings the Science of Nicotine Addiction to the Attention of Policy-Makers

    • July 23, 2009

Jack E. Henningfield, PhD
Vice President, Research and Health Policy
Pinney Associates
Bethesda, Md.
Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Md.

The project: Jack E. Henningfield, PhD, had conducted extensive research to establish that nicotine is an addictive drug and that tobacco use is strongly driven by nicotine addiction.

In 2000, Henningfield received an Innovators Combating Substance Abuse award and got a chance to advance his work. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) created the Innovators program to nurture and promote innovation in combating substance abuse. Between 2000 and 2003, some 20 senior researchers, practitioners and policy-makers received Innovators awards. See Program Results Report for more information on the program.

Henningfield used his Innovator award to establish a systematic approach to bring tobacco addiction science to the attention of policy-makers. He hired a research associate and established a group of four senior advisers to assist him in translating and disseminating scientific information to make it useful to people developing tobacco policy.


  • According to Henningfield's report to RWJF, the Innovators award allowed him to:

    • Publish more than 30 articles and commentaries in academic journals and popular media, write seven book chapters and edit two books with a focus on translating the science of tobacco addiction to public policy.
    • Provide extensive on-call advice to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Legacy Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and other organizations about the science base for their policy positions.
    • Chair the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco policy committee and help disseminate scientific information about tobacco and health to other organizations, federal agencies and members of Congress.
    • Work with other organizations including the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the American Psychological Association to extend their efforts to make scientific information relevant to policy.
    • Serve as a resource to journalists working on tobacco and policy issues including those writing for the Wall Street Journal, Newsday, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, New York Times and major television networks.
Jack E. Henningfield, PhD

Jack E. Henningfield, PhD
2000 Innovator Combating Substance Abuse