Letter from the Director

Dear Supporter,
Welcome to the prestigious Minority Research on Tobacco and Addictions (MRC). Read more...

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Current Projects

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Minority Research on Tobacco & Addictions presents the
Annual Tobacco & Addictions Lecture Series

                    Rev. Brown’s bio                          Kara Skahen’s bio                           Dr. Hooper’s bio

Register for the lecture series here:

March 30, 2017: Rev. Jesse W. Brown, Jr. | https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2473614570216443137

April 13, 2017: Kara Skahen, MSW, MPP | https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7339266883939812354

April 27, 2017: Dr. Monica Webb Hooper | https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6191743981425391618


University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Minority Research on Tobacco & Addictions
Request for Proposals (RFP) 2017-2018

In 2017 -2018, the Minority Research Center (MRC) is offering a unique source of funding that supports emerging scholars and researchers from all disciplines, who are engaged in evidence linked research that directly contributes to the elimination of smoking and tobacco use among minority populations. The purpose of the award is to gather preliminary data or demonstrate proof-of-principle for tobacco-related research with potential for high impact among minority populations in Arkansas.

The research prioritizes are:

  • Option I – Research focused on alternative smoking device prevalence among minority youth and young adults
  • Option II – Research focused on tobacco cessation among minority pregnant women and/or minority women preparing for a pregnancy
  • Option III – Research focused on decrease minorities’ exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS)
  • Option IV – Research focused on decrease tobacco use among minority adults
  • Option V – Research focused on decrease tobacco use among minority youth

Applicants may apply for funds under Option I -V. Investigators from Arkansas not-for-profit organizations are eligible for Minority Research Center funding, including but not limited to colleges, universities, hospitals, laboratories, research institutions, community-based organizations, voluntary health agencies, health maintenance organizations and other tobacco control groups. Organizations cannot accept funding or support from the tobacco industry. The funding is open to investigators holding an MD, PhD, or equivalent.

The application is due July 14, 2017.

Application Materials:

RFP General Information (PDF Format)

RFP Application (Microsoft Word Format)

RFP Budget Form (Microsoft Excel Format)


The Minority Research Center on Tobacco & Addictions has awarded grant funding to two organizations: Henderson State University (HSU) and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

Both recipients were selected based on their ability to gather preliminary data or demonstrate proof-of-principle for tobacco-related research with potential for high impact among minority populations in Arkansas. Each organization will receive $9,999.00 in grant funding. HSU’s project seeks to expand existing models of stress effects through basic research to elucidate cycles of adversity among Black minorities implicated in psychopathology and smoking outcomes. UAMS’ project will identify minority women who present for an abnormal Pap result at the UAMS Telecolposcopy program who are current tobacco users and evaluate tobacco cessation behaviors using interactive education modules through patientslearn.org. The principal investigators for the HSU and UAMS funded projects are Drs. Emilie Beltzer and Hari Eswaran, respectively.

Ongoing Research Projects

To find out more about these projects, call or email Dr. Valandra Oliver in the Minority Research Center on Tobacco & Addictions at (844) 244-9016 or mrc@uapb.edu.

The Minority Arkansans Secondhand Smoke Exposure Study (MASSES)

In Arkansas, secondhand smoke is the third-leading cause of preventable death with approximately 575 Arkansans dying each year from someone else’s smoke. The Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 is an act to protect workers in Arkansas from secondhand smoke in the workplace and to protect the citizens of Arkansas from secondhand smoke in public places. The Act went into effect on July 21, 2006. Most workplaces are required to be smoke free, but smoking is still allowed in a number of workplaces, including businesses that are not open to the public and have two or fewer employees, and in any restaurant or bar that prohibits people under age 21 from entering or working at all times. The Minority Arkansans Secondhand Smoke Exposure Study (MASSES) measured the attitudes and beliefs about the current laws related to tobacco use and whether or not portions of the current law have support to be revised. The results of the survey provided information about minority Arkansans support and attitudes toward new and stronger laws protecting citizens from secondhand smoke. The purpose of the survey was to increase the understanding regarding attitudes and behaviors towards tobacco use and issues pertaining to smoking and secondhand smoke policies. The target population for this study was Arkansans who identified as African American/Black, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaskan Native and who are 18 years of age or older.

Church Cessation Research Study (CCRS)

Although prevention efforts over recent decades have produced a dramatic decline in smoking prevalence in the U.S., the decline is not equally distributed among all segments of society. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) reported that 18.1% of Blacks, 12.5% of Hispanics, 10.7% of Asians, and 26.1% of multiple race individuals smoked cigarettes in 2012. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States. Many more deaths result from other types of tobacco use, such as smokeless tobacco and cigars. Nearly 5,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses in Arkansas each year. The Church Cessation Research Study (CCRS) examined the efficacy of a culturally tailored spiritually insured tobacco cessation program (40 Days to Freedom program). The 40 Days to Freedom tobacco cessation program is a 6-week course designed to reduce the burden of tobacco cessation for individuals desiring to quit. Each week participants are educated about tobacco use and guided through a spiritual journey towards a tobacco-free lifestyle. Participants in this study were recruited through African American churches in Arkansas who have implemented the course. The project is novel because African American faith based communities have widely embraced the program but no studies to our knowledge has examined if African Americans who participated in the program have abstained. The role of behavioral and social factors on tobacco cessation among African American adults who are motivated to stop smoking were also examined.

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