The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Data User Workshop: Making Nationally Representative Inferences from the PATH Study Data


  • Katy Edwards, Westat, Inc.
  • Jean Opsomer, Westat, Inc.

The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study is a collaboration between the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PATH Study is a household-based, nationally representative, longitudinal cohort study of approximately 46,000 adults and youth (ages 12-17) in the US. The Study was launched in 2011 to inform the FDA's regulatory activities under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

This workshop is similar to the 2019 workshop, with a focus on the PATH Study sample design and weighting. Specifically, attendees will learn how to conduct longitudinal analyses to estimate change over time as well as pseudo-cross-sectional analyses to estimate prevalence.

The workshop consists of a brief overview of the PATH Study and detailed discussion of sample design and weights for all types of PATH Study data files available from Wave 1-Wave 4.5 (including youth, adult, biomarker, state identifier, and special collection data files). It also describes how Wave 4.5 (a special collection of youth data) fits in with the overall study design. Participants will gain hands-on experience working with different types of restricted use data files and understanding the weighted results.

The focus of this workshop is understanding and using the PATH Study data files, not on a specific analytic approach. The workshop will combine lecture, discussion, and hands-on exercises. Participants will also receive instructions on how to apply for access to the restricted use files after the workshop to continue their own research.

The course is designed for academic faculty, research professionals, and graduate students interested in tobacco regulatory science and/or tobacco biomarkers of exposure. Participants should be comfortable with data analysis software and quantitative research methods. All examples and exercises will utilize SAS and Stata statistical software, although participants may also choose to use R. The workshop will include two full days of instruction and exercises. To get the most out of the workshop, participants should plan to attend both full days.

Prerequisites: Participants should have a basic understanding of secondary data organization and manipulation, fundamental data analysis skills, working knowledge of a statistical software package (e.g., SAS, Stata, and R) and a substantive interest in tobacco regulatory research. Participants should also review the PATH 101 webinar prior to the workshop.

Application: Admission is competitive. Enrollment is limited. Attendees of the 2019 workshop will be given lower priority for admittance. To apply, use the Registration tab from the course description. Provide your information, select the course, and indicate your experience with quantitative research methods. Also, upload the following required documents via the registration portal:

  1. Current CV with a select list of publications (Please highlight your research interests and any experience and/or coursework relevant to the PATH Study Summer Workshop, particularly prior experience with tobacco research and/or quantitative analytic methods)
  2. Research project description (Priority will be given to applicants whose project description indicates interest in using the PATH Study data for tobacco regulatory research. The project description should include references to theory or historical context, how the project extends what is presently known, and why the PATH Study data are needed for the project)

Fee: There is no tuition fee for the workshop.

Application Open Period: April 15 - May 10, 2020.

Tags: Tobacco, PATH Study

Course Sections

Section 1

Location: ICPSR -- Ann Arbor, MI

Date(s): August 17 - August 18

Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


  • Katy Edwards, Westat, Inc.
  • Jean Opsomer, Westat, Inc.