Testimony of Dr. Neal Benowitz

October 28, 2004 11:58 pm by Gene Borio

Testimony of Dr. Neal Benowitz

Benowitz, Neal M.D.

US Expert Witness

Dr. Benowitz received his medical degree with a distinction in research from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1969. He is licensed to practice medicine in the State of California and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (since 1974), the American Board of Medical Toxicology (since 1981) and the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology (since 1993).

Dr. Benowitz currently works as a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Biopharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (”UCSF”), where he has been a member of the faculty since 1974. Dr. Benowitz also serves as Chief of UCSF’s Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics as well as Vice Chair of the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences at UCSF’s School of Pharmacy. In addition to his responsibilities at UCSF, Dr. Benowtiz is an attending physician on the Medical Service and the Cardiology Service at San Francisco General Hospital as well as a Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology consultant at the same hospital.

Dr. Benowitz has also engaged in numerous research projects related to smoking and health issues. For the past twenty years, Dr. Benowitz’s research has focused on the study of the human pharmacology of nicotine, with an emphasis on nicotine addiction. Among the issues he has studied are (1) the role of nicotine in controlling cigarette smoking and the use of other forms of tobacco; (2) individual variability in the psychological and neuroendocrine responses to nicotine; (3) the pathways and genetics of nicotine metabolism and pharmacological activity of nicotine breakdown substances; (4) innovative smoking cessation therapies; and (5) the interactions between nicotine and illicit drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

In his career, Dr. Benowitz has written over 300 peer reviewed original articles and almost 50 book chapters on subjects related to the pharmacology of nicotine and nicotine addiction. Dr. Benowitz has also worked extensively with the federal government on these subjects as well. For example, Dr. Benowitz was a senior scientific editor and contributing author for the 1988 Report of the Surgeon General, entitled The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction, a groundbreaking and universally accepted report that concluded that cigarettes were addicting, nicotine was the drug in tobacco that causes addiction, and the pharmacological and behavioral processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Dr. Benowitz also served as an expert peer reviewer for the Surgeon General’s 1994 report concerning tobacco use by young people. This report concluded, in part, that most adolescent smokers are addicted to nicotine and want to quit and that those smokers experience relapse rates and withdrawal symptoms similar to those experienced by adult smokers.

In his career, Dr. Benowitz has testified in numerous smoking and health cases involving both individual smoker plaintiffs and States suing the tobacco industry.

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