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Evaluating Relationship of Cannabis use & Tobacco Cessation

Institution: Veterans Medical Research Foundation
Investigator(s): Timothy Chen, Pharm.D.
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 28) Grant #: 28IP-0031 Award: $561,591
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: High Impact Pilot Award

Initial Award Abstract

Cannabis use has been rising in the United States and preliminary research suggests high rates of concurrent use of cannabis in tobacco users. With escalating consumption of cannabis attributable to recreational and medicinal use, a better understanding of co-use of cannabis and tobacco is important. The proposed research project is a pilot study to evaluate smoking cessation milestones, comparing 98 Veteran cigarette smokers with co-use of cannabis versus 135 Veteran smokers without co-use. This project is the first step in a program of research to identify whether cannabis use impacts cigarette smoking cessation, to elucidate mechanisms underlying co-use and cessation, and to develop and evaluate interventions for smokers who co-use cannabis. Participants will be recruited from smokers enrolled in the VA San Diego Pharmacist Managed Telephone Tobacco Cessation Clinic (PMTTCC). The PMTTC provides intensive behavioral treatment consistent with the 2008 clinical practice guidelines and literature and all pharmacists have prescriptive authority to offer smoking cessation pharmacotherapy for all participants.  Participants will complete assessments prior to the initial telephone treatment session and again at 1 and 3 months. We will explore mechanisms that may differentially influence cigarette smoking abstinence among cannabis co-users. The study results will provide a better understanding of the influence of cannabis on smoking cessation outcomes. Results will provide support and guidance for treatment of cigarette smokers who co-use cannabis.