Roswell Park Designated Scientific Lead for Ongoing Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

Cancer center to receive estimated $17.7 million for work on largest prospective U.S. study of tobacco use
Monday, April 4, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a longstanding effort to document and interpret tobacco use in the U.S., has been awarded another nine years of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The study will be conducted by Westat of Rockville, Md., with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center continuing as scientific lead and Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Roswell Park Department of Health Behavior, serving as principal investigator. Funding to Roswell Park over the term of the contract is expected to total $17.7 million.

The PATH study, which began collecting data in September 2013 and includes the largest group of tobacco users to be studied over time, will offer insight into changes in tobacco product use; perceptions of harm from using new and emerging tobacco products; cessation efforts; analysis of biomarkers of tobacco related diseases; consumer perceptions of risk associated with public health outcomes; tobacco use patterns among demographic subgroups; influence of tobacco marketing on current, former and never tobacco users; and will provide information to inform FDA regulatory considerations.

The objective of these research initiatives is to provide information to support population-based tobacco regulations that serve to reduce the disease burden caused by tobacco.

“The PATH Study will continue to be a vital resource offering scientific-based data to inform regulatory policy on tobacco use in a rapidly changing tobacco product marketplace,” says Dr. Hyland. “This study provides a unique and much-needed long-term approach to understanding tobacco use behaviors and to impacting those behaviors, to reduce the toll of tobacco on the health of Americans.”

“Westat is honored to have been selected to be a part of this important study and the public health policies it will inform now and in the future,” adds David Maklan, PhD, PATH Study Co-Principal Investigator and WESTAT Senior Vice President.

Other scientific partners are the Truth Initiative; University of Waterloo, Ont.; Moores Cancer Center at the University of California; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center; Rutgers University; Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota; and Medical University of South Carolina.


The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: 

Deborah Pettibone, Public Information Specialist