Member Spotlight: Schroeder Institute

David B. Abrams, PhD

Founded: 2008

Location: Washington, D.C.

Mission: Conduct intervention and policy research to make a public health impact on preventing the premature deaths and disease burden of tobacco use behavior. 

The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative conducts tobacco control research with a clear and specific public health impact. Using a transdisciplinary “team science” approach, we work collaboratively with scientists, practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders to strengthen the science of tobacco control implementation, dissemination and policy. Our vision is to use research to achieve a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco.

Each year, over 520,000 Americans die prematurely from smoking cigarettes. While tobacco use has declined in recent decades, over 40 million people continue to smoke. Currently, 5.6 million youth are projected to die if no action is taken to make the next generation tobacco free. The U.S. Surgeon General reminds us that the overwhelming deaths come from the deadly smoke from the combusting of tobacco products. Menthol and other flavored combusting products like cigarillos continue to be starter products for 56 percent of all youth and over 80 percent of African-American youth. The landscape is changing rapidly with both poly-use of cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and hookah products, as well as the emergence of less harmful alternative nicotine delivery systems. Now, more than ever, robust and rapid research is needed to inform policy and regulation. 

The Schroeder Institute is committed to reducing the disease burden of tobacco use by conducting research in a number of areas to both inform and evaluate tobacco control policy. Schroeder Institute research has resulted in extensive peer-reviewed publications covering topics as diverse as: cessation interventions; use, awareness and harm perceptions connected to e-cigarette use; new and emerging tobacco product use; consumer sentiment regarding a menthol ban; and reducing nicotine to non-zero levels.

The Schroeder Institute receives federal support to conduct intervention and policy-relevant research, including large-scale, nationally-funded studies. The Schroeder Institute is also integral to the Evaluation and Coordination of Training and Research in Tobacco Regulatory Science, serving as part of a federal coordinating center. The Schroeder Institute produces in-house research, commissions rapid response research to address priority topics, contributes to federal docket submissions on an ongoing basis, and convenes and coordinates meetings among experts to inform policy, FDA regulation and practice in youth prevention and adult smoking cessation. 

While recognizing the tremendous toll of tobacco on the nation, the Schroeder Institute is hopeful for opportunities to reduce its burden in the future.

“Tobacco use is a massive financial cost to our nation and a chief driver of health disparities and inequality,” said David B. Abrams, Ph.D., executive director, Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies. “As the tobacco control landscape rapidly changes, our past knowledge may no longer be as relevant as it once was. The proliferation of new products like e-cigarettes, as well as new technologies and social media present challenging and exciting opportunities to develop new vehicles to efficiently deliver interventions in ways previously not possible to end the deadly ravages of tobacco.”

The Schroeder Institute shares Research!America’s passionate commitment to make research conducted to improve health a higher national priority. 

“Without the research funding we receive, Schroeder’s efforts would be greatly diminished.  Advocates like Research!America help to make the work we do possible,” said Abrams.

For more information about The Schroeder Institute, click here.

David B. Abrams, Ph.D. is Executive Director of The Schroeder Institute.


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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter