​​​​AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee

The AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee was convened in 2009 to foster scientific and policy initiatives to reduce the incidence of disease and mortality due to tobacco use.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of premature mortality, killing more than five million people worldwide every year. It has a particularly profound impact on cancer incidence and mortality. Indeed, tobacco use is causally associated with 18 different cancers, including lung, head and neck, stomach, pancreas, and cervical cancers, and alone tobacco accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths.

E-cigarettes: Striking a Balance Between Preventing Youth Nicotine Addiction and Helping Current Adult Smokers Quit Combustible Cigarettes       


This briefing provided updates on the latest science around youth uptake of e-cigarettes. Experts offered potential solutions for halting the alarming rise in youth e-cigarette use, balanced with a need for research into whether these products could be effectively used for supporting smoking cessation in current nicotine users. Learn more.

Comments to CMS on Proposed Rule to Update Prospective Payment Rates for Medicare Inpatient Hospital Services Provided by Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities ​

On June 26, 2018, the AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee submitted expert comments in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule to update the prospective payment rates for Medicare inpatient hospital services provided by inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) (Docket No. CMS-1690-P, RIN 0938-AT32). The comments specifically addressed the proposed removal of measures for Tobacco Use Screening (TOB-1) and Tobacco Use Treatment Provided or Offered at Discharge (TOB-3 and TOB-3a). Although smoking rates have declined over the last 50 years, tobacco use is still prevalent among disparate populations, including those with mental illness. It is imperative to continue providing tobacco screening and cessation services to this vulnerable population and to continue monitoring programs to ensure intended outcomes are achieved.

Tobacco Use and Cessation in Cancer Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship ​

Tobacco use not only causes cancer, but it also interferes with cancer treatment and leads to poorer outcomes. In 2013, the AACR drafted a policy statement with recommendations related to tobacco use by cancer patients which calls for universal tobacco use assessment, provision of cessation treatment to all cancer patients, and the evaluation of tobacco use as a confounding factor in cancer clinical trials. In Addition, the AACR has partnered with the National Cancer institute (NCI) to form the NCI-AACR Cancer Patient Tobacco Use Assessment Task Force. The Task Force developed measures that have undergone clinical testing and are now available for use in all cancer research.

Findings from the Task Force on recommended measures, protocol for measurement, and priority research areas were published in a special report ​in Clinical Cancer Research and a paper in Cancer. The Task Force outlined priority research areas and described recommendations for assessment items and the timing of assessment related to tobacco use among cancer patients.

Research priorities, measures, and recommendations for assessment of tobacco use in clinical cancer research. Land SR et. al. (2016). Clinical Cancer Research. 2016;22(8): 1907-13.

Cognitive testing of tobacco use items for administration to cancer patients and survivors in clinical research. Land SR et. al. (2016). Cancer. 2016;122(11):1728-34.


Visit the Tobacco Use by Cancer Patients workspace at to access the latest information and updates.

Cancer Patient Tobacco Use Questionnaire (C-TUQ) Fact Sheet (February 2018)

Assessing and Treating Tobacco Use by Cancer Patients: Recommendations from the AACR (April 2013)

Assessing Tobacco Use by Cancer Patients and Facilitating Cessation: An American Association for Cancer Research Policy Statement (April 2013)

Presentation on the AACR’s tobacco policy statement by Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee Chair, Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD (April 2013)

Comments to the FDA on Nicotine Replacement Therapies from the AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee ​

On Jan. 26, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public hearing on the FDA’s approach to evaluating the safety and efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, including how to promote innovation in these products and how they should be used and labeled. AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee member Dorothy K. Hatsukami, PhD, associate director of cancer prevention and control at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, presented a summary of the AACR’s Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee’s comments to the FDA. On Feb. 15, the AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee submitted comments in response to the FDA's Approach to Evaluating Nicotine Replacement Therapies (Docket No. FDA-2017-N-6529).

The State of ENDS Science​ Policy Webinar

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), which include electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have become increasingly popular among adults and youth and have been suggested as potential tobacco cessation products.

In this webinar, our panel of experts will provide an updated state of knowledge about the safety and efficacy of ENDS from a scientific research standpoint. We will also continue discussions that began at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015 and continued at the congressional briefing on ENDS in May 2015 by inviting questions from the audience.​

Learn more about this webinar.

Electronic Cigarettes: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You​
AACR Congressional Briefing

​On May 14, 2015, the AACR in cooperation with Representative Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sponsored a congressional briefing entitled, "Electronic Cigarettes: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You." 

While the merits of electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as smoking cessation tools remain the subject of intense research and discussion, the AACR and other organizations have become concerned with the rising population of these devices, particularly among underage youth, in the absence of hard data demonstrating their safety.​

Read more about the briefing.

Tobacco Control and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)​​
Science Policy session at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015

​​Recommendations for the Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes
An AACR-ASCO Policy Statement

On Jan. 8, 2015, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a joint statement to guide policy makers in how to best minimize the potential negative consequences of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) without undermining their potential use as a smoking cessation tool.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other ENDS, which are capable of delivering a nicotine solution in aerosol form, have been suggested as potential tobacco cessation interventions and safer alternatives to cigarettes. At the present time, however, there are insufficient data on the health consequences of e-cigarette use, their value as tobacco cessation aids, and their effects on the use of combustible tobacco products by smokers and nonsmokers.

Read the recommendations

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: A Policy Statement from the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology

The Science Behind Tobacco Control

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTC) of 2009 created the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and for the first time in U.S. history created a framework for the regulation of tobacco products. The CTP’s mission to reduce the public health harms of tobacco use through evidence-based regulation of tobacco products relies on continual research as new tobacco products emerge and our understanding of the biochemical and psychological responses to tobacco use improves. The AACR is committed to working with the FDA and other policy makers to improve our understanding of the public health impact of tobacco and to reduce global tobacco use.

AACR Documents

Top of page

Co-signed Documents​     


Archived News 







2018-2019 Subcommittee Members

Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD (2019)
Subcommittee Chairperson
Ensign Professor of Medicine
Yale Cancer Center
New Haven, Connecticut
Denise R. Aberle, MD
Vice Chair of Research and Professor, Department of Radiological Science
Professor, Department of Bioengineering
Santa Monica, California
Thomas H. Brandon, PhD
Department Chair and Senior Member, Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
Tampa, Florida
Geoffrey T. Fong, PhD, FCAHS, FRSC
Professor of Psychology and Health Studies
University of Waterloo
Senior Investigator
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Toronto, Canada
Jennifer Rubin Grandis, MD
Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical Research
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Ellen R. Gritz, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Behavioral Science
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Dorothy K. Hatsukami, PhD
Associate Director, Cancer Prevention and Control
Director, Tobacco Research Programs
University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ernest Hawk, MD, MPH
Vice President and Division Head, Department of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences
Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Waun Ki Hong, MD, FACP, DMSc (Hon)
Division Head and Professor, Department of Thoracic Head and Neck Medical Oncology
Division of Cancer Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Fadlo R. Khuri MD, FACP
Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Winship Cancer Institute
Atlanta, Georgia
Scott J. Leischow, PhD
Professor, Associate Director for Public Health
College of Health Solutions
Arizona State University
Phoenix, Arizona
Peter G. Shields, MD
Deputy Director, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Benjamin Toll, PhD
Chief of Tobacco Cessation and Health Behaviors, Department of Public Health Sciences
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Kasisomayajula Viswanath, PhD
Director, Health Communication Core
Harvard Medical School
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts
Graham Warren, MD, PhD
Vice Chairman for Research in Radiation Oncology, Cancer Prevention and Control Program
Hollings Cancer Center
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Stephanie Land, PhD, ex officio
Program Director and Statistician, Tobacco Control Research Branch
Behavioral Research Program
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, Maryland

AACR Staff Contact

Nicole Boschi, PhD
Senior Science Policy Analyst  

Email or call 215-446-7275

Top of page