Researcher Studies Smoking Trends and Patterns

    • July 23, 2009

Gary A. Giovino, PhD
Senior Research Scientist and Director
Tobacco Control Research Program
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, N.Y.

The project: Gary A. Giovino, PhD, is a leading researcher on the causes and effects of tobacco use. In 2001, he received an Innovators Combating Substance Abuse award to conduct several studies that advanced his prior research on smoking. 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.

With his Innovators award, Giovino:

  • Collected and analyzed data regarding marketing and use of candy-flavored cigarettes.
  • Clarified the definition of "hard core" smoking and assessed its prevalence and trends.
  • Analyzed data from several smoking surveys to probe for trends and patterns.
  • Surveyed current and former smokers and interviewed people attending smoking-cessation clinics.
  • Partially funded a study of the effects of St. John's Wort on smoking cessation.


Giovino reported the following findings of his work to RWJF:

  • Young smokers, including underage smokers, are more likely to smoke flavored cigarettes compared with smokers over age 25.

  • Adult smokers trying to quit who were abused as children were more likely than those who were not abused to report withdrawal symptoms such as anger and irritability. Smokers who were victimized by abuse may be more "hard core."

  • Fruit and vegetable consumption is related to the number of cigarettes smoked each day and to indicators of dependence on cigarettes. People eating more fruits and vegetables smoke fewer cigarettes each day and appear less dependent on them.