Tobacco-related research

Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) often seeks Group Health members and others to serve as study participants. Those who participate are helping Group Health to evaluate innovative ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. It's all part of Group Health's mission to improve health care for everybody.


Selected ongoing studies

Leading tobacco researchers from Group Health Research Institute and the University of Michigan have developed and are testing a personalized Web-based program for people who smoke but who are not necessarily interested in quitting. The program is called Questions about Quitting (Q2). This four-year research study is funded by the National Cancer Institute. Recruitment is only open to eligible Group Health members. Enrollment is by invitation only.

Path Study: Partnering to Achieve Tobacco-free Health

Are you ready to quit smoking?
Group Health Research Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are testing group programs for adults who want to quit smoking. Everyone in this research study will get free nicotine patches and group support. Recruitment for this trial is now closed.


Researchers from the Group Health Research Institute and Stanford University are collaborating on the development and evaluation of a new smoking cessation program which includes genetically-tailored stop smoking medication and counseling. Recruitment for this trial is now closed.

Step Up
Researchers from the Group Health Research Institute are evaluating a new wellness program designed to help smokers make healthy lifestyle changes and better manage stress and depression. Recruitment for this trial is now closed.


Selected recently completed studies

Compass Study logo
The COMPASS smoking cessation study recently compared three different forms of behavioral counseling (Phone counseling, Web-based counseling, and Phone + Web counseling) to determine which was more effective when combined with the new stop smoking medication Chantix® (varenicline). Phone counseling appeared to do better during early treatment, but there were no differences in long-term stop smoking rates. All three programs were effective treatment options when combined with varenicline. Study investigators also examined treatment side-effects and found these to be generally mild-moderate for most smokers. Having a pre-existing psychiatric condition did not appear associated with increased treatment side-effects. Study results have been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. This study is complete and no longer recruiting.


Selected publications

McClure JB, Ludman E, Grothaus L, Pabiniak C, Richards J, Mohelnitzky A. Immediate and short-term impact of a brief motivational smoking intervention using a biomedical risk assessment: The Get PHIT trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2009;11(4):394-403. Epub 2009 Mar 18. PubMed

Halperin AC, McAfee TA, Jack LM, Catz SL, McClure JB, Deprey TM, Richards J, Zbikowski SM, Swan GE. Impact of symptoms experienced by varenicline users on tobacco treatment in a real world setting. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2009 Jun;36(4):428-34. Epub 2008 Nov 11. PubMed

McClure JB, Divine G, Alexander G, Tolsma D, Rolnick SJ, Stopponi M, Richards J, Johnson CC. A comparison of smokers' and nonsmokers' fruit and vegetable intake and relevant psychosocial factors. Behav Med. 2009;35(1):14-22. PubMed

McClure JB, Swan GE, Jack L, Catz SL, Zbikowski SM, McAfee TA, Deprey M, Richards J, Javitz H. Mood, side-effects and smoking outcomes among persons with and without probable lifetime depression taking varenicline. J Gen Intern Med. 2009;24(5):563-9. Epub 2009 Feb 24. PubMed

McClure JB, Ludman EJ, Grothaus L, Pabiniak C, Richards J. Impact of a brief motivational smoking cessation intervention: the Get PHIT randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med. 2009;37(2):116-23. Epub 2009 Jun 12. PubMed

Bergen AW, Conti DV, Van Den Berg D, Lee W, Liu J, Li D, Guo N, Mi H, Thomas PD, Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Krasnow R, He Y, Nishita D, Jiang R, McClure JB, Tildesley E, Hops H, Tyndale RF, Benowitz NL, Lerman C, Swan GE. Dopamine genes and nicotine dependence in treatment-seeking and community smokers. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2009;34(10):2252-64. Epub 2009 Jun 3. PubMed

Nishita DM, Jack LM, McElroy M, McClure JB, Richards J, Swan GE, Bergen AW. Clinical trial participant characteristics and saliva and DNA metrics. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2009;9:71. PubMed

McClure JB, Ludman EJ, Grothaus L, Pabiniak C, Richards J. Impact of spirometry feedback and brief motivational counseling on long-term smoking outcomes: A comparison of smokers with and without lung impairment. Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Apr 29. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Swan GE, McClure JB, Jack LM, Zbikowski SM, Javitz HS, Catz SL, Deprey M, Richards J, McAfee TA. Behavioral counseling and varenicline treatment for smoking cessation. Am J Prev Med. 2010 May;38(5):482-90. PubMed

McClure JB, Swan GE, Catz SL, Jack L, Javitz H, McAfee T, Deprey M, Richards J, Zbikowski SM. Smoking outcome by psychiatric history after behavioral and varenicline treatment. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010 Jun;38(4):394-402. Epub 2010 Apr 2. PubMed


For other types of research studies looking for study participants, please see the Join a Study home page.

Research at Group Health is reviewed by oversight committees that include Group Health staff and consumers. These committees ensure that:

Participants' privacy and rights are protected. Researchers follow strict standards to guard the privacy of medical records and study information.

Participation is strictly voluntary. When people decide not to participate in a study, it doesn't affect their care at Group Health in any way.

If you qualify for one of the studies that's currently recruiting participants, please consider taking part. And, if you know others who might be interested, please pass the word.