2016-2017 Pilot Project: OSU-CERTS Project 3: Biomarker Pilot Study among Adult Urban and Rural Tobacco Product Users

OSU-CERTS Project 3 has enrolled 1210 adult tobacco users in rural and urban Ohio.  Study participants meet face-to-face with a trained interviewer every 6 months over the span of 3 years to answer questions about their current tobacco use, what tobacco products they prefer to use, their level of nicotine dependence and number of times they have tried to quit using tobacco. Study participants also describe how dangerous they believe tobacco products are. They also describe how loyal they are to specific brands of tobacco and whether they use coupons to buy tobacco. 

This pilot project will expand upon the current study by approaching selected enrolled participants to provide a urine sample at their next interview.  Urine samples allow us to describe an individual smoker’s level of nicotine dependence and whether the smoker has high amounts of carcinogens, or cancer-causing substances in their body.  We are especially interested in knowing how these levels change as participants quit, switch, or pick up new tobacco products.

OSU-CERTS Project 3: Diversityof Tobacco Products Used and Purchased

Project Leadership and Staff

Project Leader

Mary Ellen Wewers, PhD
Professor, College of Public Health
The Ohio State University

Other Investigators

  • Theodore Brasky, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University
  • Christopher Browning, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University
  • Haikady Nagaraja, PhD, Professor, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University
  • Peter Shields, MDProfessor, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine
    Deputy Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, 
    The Ohio State University

Project Staff

  • Sarah Cooper, MPH, Program Manager, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University


The Ohio State University, Center of Excellence for Regulatory Tobacco Science (OSU-CERTS), is supported by grant number P50CA180908 from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). The content in this website is solely the responsibility of OSU-CERTS and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the Food and Drug Administration.