Dr. Cummins is an Assistant Professor at UCSD in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. She received her PhD. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego and maintained a clinical practice for 13 years. In addition, Dr. Cummins has been the Director of Research and Evaluation for the California Smokers’ Helpline (CSH), a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) model program, for many years. She has worked in tobacco control for over 15 years conducting research focused on tobacco use among vulnerable and underserved populations including pregnant women, low income groups, and those with co-morbid substance abuse, depression, and other mental health conditions. In addition to her work on vulnerable populations, Dr. Cummins’ current research interests include developing and disseminating effective behavioral change interventions (primarily in tobacco cessation) and bridging clinical and public health models.
Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Quitline Services to Help Hospitalized Smokers Stay Quit. This large study (1,200 people) tests whether providing telephone counseling to hospitalized smokers after discharge and/or giving them nicotine patches as they leave the hospital will help smokers quit, stay quit, and stay out of the hospital. Smokers will receive either telephone counseling, nicotine patches, both counseling and patches, or neither, which will make it possible to determine the cost-effectiveness of the various treatment options. UCSD, Scripps, and UC Davis hospitals are all involved. If the study is successful, it will be a model for hospital-quitline collaboration for the whole country.
Shu-Hong Zhu is Principal Investigator. Funded by the National Cancer Institute. 2010-2015.
Nonsmokers and Tobacco Control Norms: Population Surveys and Intervention Studies. This main goal of this project is to test the idea that nonsmokers are key to decreasing the rate of smoking at the population level. The study includes several national surveys and an intervention study to test the idea from different angles. A final phase of the study will be the development and testing of new ads that target nonsmokers in order to help smokers quit. These radio ads will be included in the ongoing anti-smoking media campaigns in California and Oklahoma. If the study results are consistent with our expectations, it will provide tobacco control programs with a fresh avenue for decreasing the rate of smoking in the U.S.
Shu-Hong Zhu is Principal Investigator. Funded by the National Cancer Institute. 2011-2016.
Medicaid Incentives for Prevention of Chronic Diseases. This large study (with 3,800 people) tests the effects of various incentives (free nicotine patches mailed directly to the home and/or small financial incentives for participating in counseling sessions) in helping smokers with Medicaid to quit smoking. This is a collaborative project with the California Department of Healthcare Services (the lead agency), the California Department of Public Health, and two UC research teams (San Diego and San Francisco). The results of this study will be used to advise the funder as to what policy they should use in the future for their 700,000 program participants who smoke.
Shu-Hong Zhu is Principal Investigator for the UCSD site. Funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. 2011-2016.
Screening Smokers for Depression Using California's Helpline. This study tests the effect of universal screening of smokers in statewide survey, California Smokers’ Helpline (telephone-based counseling service), and primary care practice.
David Strong is Principal Investigator. Funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program. 2012-2014.