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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R21CA173299-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Ayers, John
Organization: San Diego State University
Project Title: Tobacco Trends: a Real-Time Sentinel for Tobacco Control Evaluations
Fiscal Year: 2014


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Population smoking trends are principally documented by aggregating individual responses to health surveys that are only collected intermittently. As a result, most evaluations of population tobacco control may be confounded when multiple measures take effect in the same year. Real-time smoking trends would allow investigators to temporally associate population smoking with specific tobacco control measures, thereby potentially better cataloging the effectiveness of specific tobacco control measures. Until now there has not been an adequate data source for real-time population smoking surveillance. The Internet is the most utilized health resource on the globe, and some pioneering work in infectious disease epidemiology shows aggregate Internet search queries may be used to validly estimate population heath trends. We hypothesize changes in smoking-related Internet search queries may capture population smoking trends, with fine temporal resolution to inform tobacco control evaluations. To demonstrate their utility, these trends will b used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Great American Smokeout and New York's (NY) 2010 cigarette excise tax increase, hypothesizing these measures will reduce smoking. Real-time smoking trends will be disseminated through a public web application, Tobacco Trends (, with smoking trends for 2004 onward to give investigators, sponsors, and policy makers the ability to rapidly evaluate tobacco control measures based on population smoking trends.


Which cigarettes do Americans think are safer? A population-based analysis with wave 1 of the PATH study.
Authors: Leas E.C. , Ayers J.W. , Strong D.R. , Pierce J.P. .
Source: Tobacco control, 2017 Mar; 26(e1), p. e59-e60.
EPub date: 2016-10-14.
PMID: 27742918
Related Citations

Revisiting the Rise of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Using Search Query Surveillance.
Authors: Ayers J.W. , Althouse B.M. , Allem J.P. , Leas E.C. , Dredze M. , Williams R.S. .
Source: American journal of preventive medicine, 2016 Jun; 50(6), p. e173-e181.
EPub date: 2016-02-11.
PMID: 26876772
Related Citations

Leveraging Big Data to Improve Health Awareness Campaigns: A Novel Evaluation of the Great American Smokeout.
Authors: Ayers J.W. , Westmaas J.L. , Leas E.C. , Benton A. , Chen Y. , Dredze M. , Althouse B.M. .
Source: JMIR public health and surveillance, 2016 Jan-Jun; 2(1), p. e16.
EPub date: 2016-03-31.
PMID: 27227151
Related Citations

"Tips From Former Smokers" Can Benefit From Considering All Available Data: Reply to McAfee et al.
Authors: Ayers J.W. , Althouse B.M. .
Source: American journal of preventive medicine, 2015 Dec; 49(6), p. e133-4.
EPub date: 2015-10-09.
PMID: 26456875
Related Citations

Changes in Internet searches associated with the "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign.
Authors: Ayers J.W. , Althouse B.M. , Emery S. .
Source: American journal of preventive medicine, 2015 Jun; 48(6), p. e27-9.
PMID: 25998929
Related Citations

Could behavioral medicine lead the web data revolution?
Authors: Ayers J.W. , Althouse B.M. , Dredze M. .
Source: JAMA, 2014-04-09; 311(14), p. 1399-400.
PMID: 24577162
Related Citations

Circaseptan (weekly) rhythms in smoking cessation considerations.
Authors: Ayers J.W. , Althouse B.M. , Johnson M. , Cohen J.E. .
Source: JAMA internal medicine, 2014 Jan; 174(1), p. 146-8.
PMID: 24166181
Related Citations

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