Monday, March 15, 2010

Congressman Owens Delivers for The North Country

Owens Announces Funding
for Clarkson University
Grant to improve health concerns, help people quit smoking

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bill Owens today announced funding for Clarkson University in Potsdam for the school to develop a device with the goal of increasing the success rate for those trying to quit smoking.

“Clarkson has long been a standard for academic excellence in the North Country, and I am glad to see them awarded the tools they need to continue this tradition. It is important that we support our universities like Clarkson and the SUNY system throughout the state if we are to continue to be a leader in higher education,” said Owens.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Clarkson University $198,525 to fund the development of a noninvasive monitoring system for cigarette smoking. The project director, Dr. Edward Sazonov will work in conjunction with Dr. Steve Tiffany at SUNY Buffalo on the task.

“We hope to develop a wearable device that can objectively capture and characterize cigarette smoking. Such a device can be used to evaluate effectiveness of behavioral and pharmacological smoking cessation programs and potentially be used to improve outcomes,” said Dr. Sazonov.

The objective of the project is to develop a non-invasive wearable system called the Personal Automatic Cigarette Tracker (PACT), a completely transparent monitoring device that does not require any conscience effort to achieve reliable monitoring of smoking behavior.

Engineering of the device will take place in the Laboratory of Ambient and Wearable Systems at Clarkson University, and a human trial will be conducted at SUNY Buffalo.

“Each year, we lose more than 400,000 lives and spend more than $165 billion in health care costs from the effects of cigarette smoking,” Owens added. “This type of innovation is an important step toward helping those who want to quit smoking succeed, and improving the overall health of our communities.”

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