In the O’Connor Lab, we study the psychological influences and impacts of tobacco use – product design, user behaviors, and perceptions of risk.

On a broader scale, we investigate and advise on tobacco control policies, particularly on design, emissions, packaging, and labeling.

Much of our research is interdisciplinary and highly collaborative, working with colleagues around the world on national and international longitudinal studies.

Western NY Center for Research on Flavored Tobacco Products (CRoFT)


Funded by a $20 million grant from the NCI’s, CRoFT is the first research program in the U.S. dedicated to studying flavored tobacco.

Our team analyzes various combustible and electronic tobacco products, their consequences for health and how users interact with these products. Specifically, we investigate human thresholds for characterizing flavors and impact on user behavior.

Recent publications

Learn MoreNIH Project Details

International Tobacco Control Project (ITC)

The O’Connor Lab is a co-investigator in this collaboration that evaluates demand reduction policies within the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. 

Headed by the University of Waterloo, It’s the first-ever international cohort study of tobacco use, encompassing more than 30 countries, >50% of the world's population, >60% of the world's smokers, and >70% of the world's tobacco users.


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Consortium on Methods Evaluating Tobacco (COMET)

This collaboration, headed by the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University, develops and applies new methodologies and approaches for tobacco regulatory science.

The current focus of COMET is studies to inform whether filter ventilation, a common feature of modern cigarettes, could be eliminated.  Past COMET studies focused on how to study the utility of partial versus complete substitution of snus or e-cigarettes for cigarette harm reduction.  

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Herd of Hope: Emerging issues at the intersection of tobacco regulatory science and cancer prevention

This collaboration among investigators from Health Behavior, Cancer Prevention and Control, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Oral Oncology, seeks to better understand the cancer implicaitons of emerging oral nicotine products (ONP). Specifically, this award supports pilot research on: 1) how consumers with differing tobacco use histories perceive ONP; 2) the chemistry and potential toxicity of ONP and how they might differ from other nicotine products, and 3) how communications efforts around ONP can best be designed and targeted. 

The ultimate goal of this project is to submit a P01 or equivalent program project within the next 2 years, for which the pilot studies provide foundational data. Moving forward inter-programmatic research in this area will sustain and enhance Roswell Park’s (RP’s) decades-long reputation for innovation in tobacco control research and for informing policy at the state, national, and international levels.

Connect with the O'Connor Lab

Email: Richard.O'
Phone: 716-845-3456

Department of Health Behavior
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Elm and Carlton Streets
Buffalo, NY 14263