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Pilot Awards 2013

Cancer Prevention and Control Program's Pilot Study Awards for 2013

The Cancer Prevention and Control Program is pleased to announce the award of 4 pilot studies for 2013, totaling approximately $120,000 over two years.   The studies are designed to provide support for projects that will lead to an R01 submission.  These studies address gaps in scientific knowledge, research methods, and application of research to diverse populations and/or settings.  The pilots were evaluated for their scientific merit and through a multi-stage review process.  The funded projects focus on physical activity, tobacco use, dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarette, and e-cigarette use among populations in Hawaii.  These studies are designed to lead to intervention studies that focus on at-risk populations, cancer patients, or cancer survivors.

University of Hawai'i Pilot Funding Opportunity in Cancer Health Disparities

Body Image and Quitting Behaviors among Young Adult Women Cigarette Smokers

Nearly 90% of lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking, and each year, 46,842 women die of lung cancer. Smoking prevalence rates have not significantly changed from 2005-2010 and quit rates remain low among women. The recent lack of progress in reducing smoking combined with the premise that women may not benefit as much as men from evidence-based interventions point to the critical need to examine gender-specific motives that may increase successful quitting among women smokers. In addition, young adult women may benefit the most from future studies because quitting before age 35 reduces most tobacco-specific morbidity and mortality. The long-term goal of this research is to understand how social cognitive-based interventions that seek to modify body image and dissatisfaction can improve smoking cessation outcomes among racially/ethnically diverse groups of young adult women daily smokers. To inform the development of future intervention studies, this exploratory study, guided by Social Cognitive Theory, aims to 1) conduct usability testing of a website designed to enroll women daily smokers aged 18-35 (n=1 0) into a study on quitting behaviors; 2) test the feasibility of using newspaper advertisements to recruit young adult women daily smokers (n=1 00) to complete a web-based or mailed survey; and 3) conduct a pilot survey to examine the associations of body image and dissatisfaction with the primary outcomes, self-efficacy to quit and intention to quit, and secondary outcomes, quit attempts and longest period of smoking abstinence among young adult women daily smokers. Newspaper advertisements will be used to recruit smokers to complete a brief survey by mail or through the website developed by the study team. The ads will provide the option for participants to go directly to the website to complete the eligibility screening, consent and survey or call the study phone line. Smokers screened by phone will have the option to complete the survey and consent by mail or through the website. We hypothesize that there will be differences by race/ethnicity and smoking characteristics in women who enroll via the website or mail. We also hypothesize that women with higher body dissatisfaction and negative body image will report lower self-efficacy and intention to quit than women with lower body dissatisfaction and positive body image and the associations will vary by racial/ethnic group.

Key Personnel

Fagan, Pebbles  -     Principal Investigator
Herzog, Thaddeus  -     Co-Investigator
Pokhrel, Pallav  -     Co-Investigator
Boushey, Carol  -     Co-Investigator

Dual Use of Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Pilot Study

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable cancer mortality in the United States and throughout the world (Centers for Disease Control, 2008). Although smoking rates have decreased over the past 40 years, there are signs that progress in tobacco control has stagnated. Thus, it is important to carefully evaluate all new methods and technologies that could potentially help to stimulate new progress in the smoking cessation field. One new product that recently has become widely available to smokers is the electronic cigarette, also known as the e-cigarette. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that generate vaporized nicotine or non-nicotine vapor which may be inhaled orally in the manner of conventional cigarettes. Although e-cigarettes are relatively new in the market, their popularity has increased rapidly, especially among current smokers.

Before e-cigarettes can be systematically evaluated as a cessation tool, a better understanding of how e-cigarettes are used is needed. The limited research literature to date indicates that many users of e-cigarettes also use cigarettes (i.e., dual use), and dual users frequently report using e-cigarettes as a strategy for cessation (Etter & Bullen, 2011). Preliminary research by the PI and colleagues in Hawaii revealed that 13% of current smokers have tried e-cigarettes to quit smoking, though national data on this topic currently are not available. Ethnic disparities in e-cigarette use also were observed in our sample, with Native Hawaiians significantly less likely to use e-cigarettes compared to other ethnic groups.

The proposed research aims to provide a detailed assessment of e-cigarette usage, with a focus on how e-cigarettes are employed for the purpose of cigarette smoking cessation. The study design will consist of surveying 40 dual use cigarette and e-cigarette users once per week for a period of two months, using internet survey technology. The focus of the proposed study is to assess and characterize the use of e-cigarettes among dual users over a two-month period, including patterns and motivations for using e-cigarettes, and ethic disparities in e-cigarette use.

Key Personnel

Herzog, Thaddeus  -     Principal Investigator
Reinhold Penner   -     Co-Investigator
Pebbles Fagan
  -     Co-Investigator
Pallav Pokhrel   -     Co-Investigator

Hula, a Physical Activity Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors

The proposed study will entail a physical activity intervention for people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who are currently exercising less than 60 minutes per week will be invited to either begin a physical activity intervention of hula either immediately or in 6-months. Once interest is suggested by a potential participant and the participant is screened for eligibility, their physician will be contacted to provide medical fitness. If this is garnered, participants will be mailed some materials and invited to meet with someone to go over the informed consent and initial questionnaire, along with have their blood drawn and anthropometric measures taken. The individual will then shortly begin the 6-month intervention where they will be asked to meet with a group at Queen's medical center for 60 minutes, 3 times per week for Hula instruction, or they will be asked to wait 6-months and then begin the same intervention. For all participants, at 6-months and again at 12-months a blood draw and questionnaires will be complete. Participants will also receive a $25 gift certificate for each of the three measurement timepoints.

Key Personnel

Bantum, Erin O'Carroll  -     Principal Investigator
Chong, Clayton  -     Co-Investigator
Loo, Lenora  -     Co-Investigator
Yu, Herbert
  -     Co-Investigator

E-Cigarette Use Motives, Expectancies, and Tobacco Use among E-Cigarette Users

Tobacco smoking causes 20% of all annual deaths in the U.S. and 30% of all deaths from cancer. Recently, electronic or "e-" cigarettes have become popular in the market as novel nicotine-delivery products that may influence tobacco-smoking behavior. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that generate vaporized nicotine which may be inhaled orally in the manner conventional cigarettes are smoked. E-cigarettes are widely as smoking cessation aids. Not much is known about the abuse liability of e-cigarettes or their efficacy as smoking cessation aids. Thus the implications that e-cigarettes may have for public health are not well understood. If e-cigarettes are indeed effective as cessation aids then they could be used to promote smoking cessation, especially among high risk populations such as Native Hawaiians and Filipinos in Hawaii who show high smoking prevalence and high rates of cancer incidence and mortality. However, to better design cessation trials, it is important to understand why individuals use e-cigarettes (e.g., to quit smoking? for recreation?) and how much they like e-cigarettes. Thus we propose to conduct a qualitative, exploratory study to understand why individuals use e-cigarettes and why and how frequently e-cigarette users use other tobacco products. An objective of this study is to develop self-report measures of e-cigarette use motives, expectancies and satisfaction with e-cigarette products. Another objective is to identify the frequency, reasons, and contexts of tobacco use among e-cigarette users. The proposed study will help us attain that goal by enabling the submission of an R01 application. The future R01 would test the efficacy of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids. This proposal is innovative for attempting to initiate a systematic research on attitudes and behaviors related to the use of a novel and understudied nicotine-delivery device, namely e-cigarette. The assessment tools developed from the study may standardize the way e-cigarette use motives and expectancies are measured in the future, thus improving empirical studies on e-cigarette use attitudes and behavior and, facilitating comparative studies across diverse socio-demographic groups. The knowledge gained from this study will impact the content and design of future intervention studies involving e-cigarettes.

Key Personnel

Pallav Pokhrel  -     Principal Investigator
Pebbles Fagan 
  -     Co-Investigator
Herzog, Thaddeus 
  -     Co-Investigator
Reinhold Penner  -     Co-Investigator


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