Status and Future Directions of Preclinical Behavioral Pharmacology in Tobacco Regulatory Science

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Abstract

Behavioral pharmacology is a branch of the experimental analysis of behavior that has had great influence in drug addiction research and policy. This article provides an overview of recent behavioral pharmacology research in the field of tobacco regulatory science, which provides the scientific foundation for the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products (FDA CTP) to set tobacco control policies. The rationale and aims of tobacco regulatory science are provided, including the types of preclinical operant behavioral models it deems important for assessing the abuse liability of tobacco products and their constituents. The authors then review literature relevant to key regulatory actions being considered by the FDA CTP, including regulations over nicotine and menthol content of cigarettes, and conclude with suggesting some directions for future research. The current era of tobacco regulatory science provides great opportunities for behavioral pharmacologists to address the leading cause of preventable death and disease worldwide.

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