Society of Behavioral Medicine Honors Scientist

Categories: Awards & Recognition

Type: News

Date Published: 04/30/2015

The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) recently presented the Alere Research to Practice Award to Herb Severson, Ph.D. for his outstanding work in translating and extending behavioral medicine from research into practical application, dissemination, and implementation. Dr. Severson has conducted some of the earliest studies on smokeless tobacco prevention and cessation and is nationally known for his work in this area. The award was presented at SBM's annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas on April 23.

Severson's current research includes a study to examine the health and behavioral impacts among smokers of lowered nicotine levels. Oregon Research Institute is one of ten sites in the United States that is studying the effects of nicotine reduction on health by having people smoke cigarettes that contain varying and reduced levels of nicotine.

“While the FDA has been given the authority to regulate and reduce the nicotine levels in cigarettes, the scientific basis for doing this has not been well established. This study is the first comprehensive study on the impact of significantly reducing the nicotine levels in cigarettes and the study will provide the FDA with a science base on which to base their policies,” said Dr. Severson.

Tobacco use is (still) the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking results in more than 480,000 premature deaths in the United States each year—about 1 in every 5 U.S. deaths.