Profile: The Tobacco Control Working Group

The UF Health Cancer Center Tobacco Control Working Group brings together public health, translational and clinical researchers with the common goal of investigating ways to reduce and ultimately eliminate tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.

Members of the Tobacco Control Working Group conduct a wide range of tobacco-related research across the entire translational continuum — ranging from the discovery of basic mechanisms of tobacco use, and the development of new tobacco treatment interventions, to the dissemination and implementation of education programs, treatments, and policies. For example, members from this group helped inform Alachua County’s decision to raise the tobacco-buying age to 21, and the entire state has followed suit.

For more information, contact For more information about the group, please contact Ramzi G. Salloum, Ph.D., at

Q &A with Ramzi G. Salloum, Ph.D.

What do you think is most important for cancer center members to know about this working group, and why should they consider registering?

We have a well-established working group with a track record of collaboration. Our monthly meetings offer an opportunity to discuss and contribute to works in progress. Collaborations from this working group have led to several publications, scientific presentations and grant applications. Also, we often host tobacco control experts who are external to the University, who provide additional learning and collaborative opportunities. 

Tobacco Control Working Group: 2019

How does this working group help support the cancer center’s overall mission?

Tobacco-use continues to be the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the world, but also, it’s the number one preventable cause of cancer, accounting for almost a third of cancer cases. The burden of tobacco use is especially high in our Cancer Center’s catchment area. So, we need to understand the ways in which we can reduce tobacco use because that would be the number one thing we can do to reduce and prevent cancer.

What are some of the most promising tobacco-related initiatives or studies that this working group is/has worked on?

Members of our working group are involved in exciting research across the translational science spectrum and across the cancer care continuum. For example, our members are investigating new treatments for nicotine dependence and tobacco-induced cancer prevention, developing behavioral interventions to prevent the uptake of smoking and vaping among youth, and testing implementation strategies to improve the uptake of tobacco cessation treatments in clinical settings for the primary and secondary prevention of cancer.

Tobacco Control Working Group: 2019