The PhenX (Phenotypes and eXposures) Toolkit provides researchers with recommended standard consensus measures for use in epidemiological, biomedical, clinical and translational studies. To expand the depth and breadth of measures in the PhenX Toolkit, the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have launched a project to identify ‘Core’ and ‘Specialty’ collections of measures recommended for human subjects studies in tobacco regulatory research (TRR). The current paper addresses the PhenX Toolkit TRR Vector specialty area and describes the 6-month process to identify high-priority, low-burden, scientifically supported consensus measures. Self-reported, interviewer-administered and observational measurements were considered, and input from the research community assisted in justifying the inclusion of 13 tobacco industry-relevant measures (mainly interviewer-administered or self-reported measures) in the PhenX Toolkit. Compared with measures of addiction or the use of tobacco products, assessments of many Vector factors are much newer and at an earlier stage of development. More work is needed to refine and validate measures of the spatial distribution of tobacco retailers, retail environment, price promotions and corporate social responsibility.
PhenX: Vector measures for tobacco regulatory research