A new Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research, an expansion and consolidation of the Duke Nicotine Research Program, will seek to develop, evaluate, and disseminate improved methods for quitting smoking. The center is being established with $15 million from Philip Morris USA. The funds will be distributed annually in $5-million increments over the next three years.
Consistent with Duke policy, the researchers will have sole responsibility for the direction of the research and will be free to publish the results of the research without prior review or approval from Philip Morris USA. The university will also retain the rights to any patents or other intellectual property arising from the center.
The new center "will put Duke at the forefront of research into nicotine addiction and the development of tools that can help smokers quit, offering them the opportunity to improve their health and quality of life," says R. Sanders Williams M.D. '74, dean of the medical school.
Jed Rose, director of the Duke Nicotine Research Program, research professor of biological psychiatry, and co-creator of the nicotine patch, will lead the center, with additional guidance from an independent scientific advisory board consisting of international experts appointed by Duke. "Over the last twenty years, our program has given rise to several promising quit-smoking methods," says Rose. "Existing smoking-cessation methods have had limited success, with quit rates often falling below 15 percent after six months. There is an urgent need for more effective treatments. We now have a unique opportunity to make more rapid progress toward solving the problem of tobacco addiction."
Rose founded the Nicotine Research Program in 1979 at the University of California, Los Angeles. He moved the program to Duke in 1989.