Busy season for Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee

The Committee discussed a proposed list of potentially harmful constituents of tobacco products

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) met in late August to discuss a report from the Tobacco Products Constituent Subcommittee, which had been evaluating a proposed list of potentially harmful constituents of tobacco products. Over the summer, the subcommittee, chaired by APA Fellow Dorothy Hatsukami, had been evaluating a list of 106 harmful or potentially harmful constituents (HPHC) of tobacco products to examine the available evidence that they contributed to five adverse health conditions, including addiction. (The other health conditions were carcinogenic, respiratory, cardiovascular and reproductive/developmental toxicity.)  Deliberating the evaluation criteria to be used for including compounds on that list, the subcommittee refined “evidence for abuse liability” to include seven classic hallmarks from behavioral pharmacology: CNS activity, animal drug discrimination, conditioned place preference, animal self-administration, human self-administration, drug “liking” and withdrawal. At the August meeting the TPSAC voted unanimously to accept the subcommittee's recommendations with the caveat that at least two of those hallmarks were evident for any given constituent.

In other developments, TPSAC met in July to hear tobacco industry representatives discuss various aspects of the use of menthol in tobacco products. The discussion was meant to frame the work of the Menthol Report Subcommittee which will meet in September to help TPSAC characterize the impact of use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health for a report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  A complete chronology of the activity, associated documents, and archived meeting webcasts is available on the TPSAC website.