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Benjamin A. Toll PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Program Director, Smoking Cessation Service at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven

Research Interests

Smoking cessation clinical trials; Quitline studies; Smoking cessation with cancer patients; Secondary analyses of clinical trial data; Analyses of mediators and moderators of treatment; Assessment, methods, and psychometrics

Current Projects

  • “Promoting Tobacco and Cancer Control: Message Framing for Telephone Quitline Callers” This project will be a secondary analysis of our New York State Smokers’ Quitline data.
  • “Smoking Cessation to Improve Survival Rates of Head and Neck Cancer Patients” This project is an 8-week, open label clinical trial comparing smoking cessation treatment with varenicline 2 mg to nicotine patch 21 mg in a sample of 30 patients who completed treatment for head and neck cancer.

Research Summary

Dr. Toll conducts smoking cessation studies aimed at developing novel treatments (both counseling and drug treatments). He is currently testing treatments that emphasize the positive aspects of quitting smoking (e.g., quitting will add years to your life) and interventions aimed at reducing alcohol use amongst smokers who drink at hazardous levels. He is also conducting research aimed at improving the quality of measures of cigarette consumption (e.g., IVR) and smoking related syndromes (e.g., withdrawal).

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Toll’s primary research interest involves developing novel psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for tobacco use disorders. Current studies focus on message framing to promote smoking cessation. He has been working with the New York State Smokers' Quitline on studies testing gain-framed counseling (e.g., if you quit smoking you will live longer) and mediators and moderators of responses to gain-framed counseling. He has also been working on studies of naltrexone for minimization of post smoking cessation weight gain. In addition, Dr. Toll is involved in several studies of psychometrics, assessment, and methodological issues with addictive behaviors.


Selected Publications

  • Toll, B.A., Brandon, T. H., Gritz, E. R., Land, S. R., Warren, G. W., & Herbst, R. S.; Writing Committee for the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer. (2013). Assessing and Stopping Cancer Patients’ Tobacco Use: An American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Policy Statement. Clinical Cancer Research, 19, 1-8.
  • Toll, B. A., Cummings, K. M., O’Malley, S. S., Carlin-Menter, S., McKee, S. A., Hyland, A., Wu, R., Hopkins, J., & Celestino, P. (2012). Tobacco quitlines need to assess and intervene with callers’ hazardous drinking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Available online. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01767.x
  • Toll, B. A., Martino, S., Latimer, A., Salovey, P., O’Malley, S. S., Carlin-Menter, S., Hopkins, J., Wu, R., Celestino, P., & Cummings, K. M. (2010). Randomized trial: Quitline specialist training in gain-framed vs standard care messages for smoking cessation. Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), 102, 96-106. PMID: 20056957.
  • Toll, B. A., White, M., Wu, R., Meandzija, B., Jatlow, P., Makuch, R., & O’Malley, S. S. (2010). Low-dose naltrexone augmentation of nicotine replacement for smoking cessation with reduced weight gain: A randomized trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 111, 200-206. PMID: 20542391.
  • Toll, B. A., Leary, V., Wu, R., Salovey, P., Meandzija, B., & O’Malley, S. S. (2008). A preliminary investigation of naltrexone augmentation of bupropion to stop smoking with less weight gain. Addictive Behaviors, 33, 173-179. PMID: 17587504.
  • Toll, B. A., O’Malley, S. S., Katulak, N. A., Wu, R., Dubin, J., Latimer, A., Meandzija, B., George, T. P., Jatlow, P., Cooney, J. L., & Salovey, P. (2007). Comparing gain- and loss-framed messages for smoking cessation with bupropion: A randomized controlled trial. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 534-544. PMID: 18072836.

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