URMC Researchers Receive $2.6M Grant to Help Young Smokers Quit

Dec. 2, 2011
Department of Community and Preventive Medicine provides support for smoking cessation

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Community and Preventive Medicine are using a National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to find effective ways to help young smokers quit. They have been awarded a $2.6 million, five-year grant from the NCI entitled “Web Assisted Tobacco Intervention with Community Colleges.” Funding began this Fall and will continue through June, 2016.

The study, which will also involve faculty from the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, will recruit approximately 1,500 smokers attending community colleges throughout New York State. The primary goal of the study is to translate evidence-based interventions in community cancer prevention and control, and to investigate novel web-based delivery of these interventions to reduce the number of community college students who smoke. Very little is known about smoking and successful quitting strategies among community college students. Participants will be followed during and after the intervention phase to assess quitting and successful strategies. The Smoking Research Program has identified a pool of 22 community colleges for participation.

In addition to the web-based interventions and follow-up, the key to the study’s success will be strong interest in the novelty of using internet-based strategies and resources.

“If community college students have increasing access to the internet, both on and off campus, and the internet capabilities for reach and ease-of-use keep expanding, there is a better chance for smokers to access the right kind of support and resources,” explains Scott McIntosh, Ph.D., associate professor of Community and Preventive Medicine at URMC and principal investigator of the study.

McIntosh will be working with co-investigators Deborah Ossip, Ph.D., director of Community and Preventive Medicine’s Smoking Research Program, and Andrew Wall, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Educational Leadership Program at the Warner School, and others to carry out all phases of the study. 

Physicians interested in free, brief, office training and materials for intervention and referral with smokers can call (585) 275-0598. For smokers interested in quitting now, or finding out about local and state resources, call 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487), or go online at