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Freitas-Lemos Lab

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Smoking, the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, results in approximately half a million deaths annually, with nearly 30% attributed to cancer. Tobacco control efforts are aimed at reducing the prevalence of smoking, implementing effective policies, and promoting public health initiatives to curb the devastating impact of tobacco-related illnesses have made significant strides in reducing overall smoking rates. However, the higher prevalence and slower cessation rates among certain groups provide evidence of tobacco-related disparities and may lead to cancer disparities. Estimating the impact of new policies and products is crucial for enhancing the effectiveness of tobacco control measures. The Freitas-Lemos Lab, led by Roberta Freitas-Lemos, Ph.D., uses behavioral economic methods, such as the Experimental Tobacco Marketplace (ETM) to provide critical insights into the effects of new regulations or tobacco products on consumption patterns and substitution among different populations. 

The increasing trends in population-based differences related to smoking prevalence and cessation rates suggest that smoking-related health disparities are likely to continue widening. In response, the Freitas-Lemos Lab's research program aims to enhance health equity in cancer prevention and control, particularly related to tobacco use and co-occurring conditions, by employing innovative strategies to improve policies and treatment. Her lab focuses on two key objectives: 1) investigating the impact of tobacco-related efforts on initiation, continued use, and cessation among individuals facing tobacco-related cancer health disparities, and 2) developing and testing innovative policies and treatment strategies aimed at eliminating tobacco use and its unequaled harms.

Meet the Lab