Image showing different types of smoking devices and tobacco uses.


Tobacco research at Mayo Clinic — Finding better options to help people quit

The Mayo Clinic Nicotine Research Program started in 1988 with the opening of the Nicotine Dependence Center. The research program continues to make notable contributions to the field of addiction research and tobacco-dependence interventions. Initially focused on nicotine replacement therapy trials, the program studies include clinical trials with a focus on behavioral interventions, pharmacotherapy interventions, population-based epidemiology, cost-effectiveness and outcomes research.

The Nicotine Research Program's strength lies in collaboration as well as its wide reach. Investigators currently conduct numerous tobacco research studies examining ways not only to improve smoking cessation rates but also to reduce smoking initiation. Some of these studies aim to help individuals who use smokeless tobacco, while others focus on cigarette smoking. One area of research examines ways to help smokers with specific health conditions, including individuals with high blood pressure, comorbid addictions and comorbid conditions, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and psychiatric comorbidities. In addition, newer studies investigate various types of complementary and integrative medicine therapies for cigarette smokers, as well as a combination of therapies.

Studies conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers have involved more than 58,000 research subjects, including:

  • 133 randomized clinical trials
  • 38 retrospective abstracting studies
  • 18 survey studies
  • 10 focus group studies

The research program portfolio continues to increase through investigator-initiated peer-reviewed grants and industry-sponsored research. Investigators have published nearly 450 peer-review articles in the last 20 years, and the scholarly output continues to grow.

In the Nicotine Research Program, as throughout Mayo Clinic, the goal is to serve patient needs by integrating research into clinical practice and education. For more information, please contact the Nicotine Research Program main office.