Investigator Spotlight: Erika Litvin Bloom, PhD

Congratulations, Dr. Bloom!

Erika Litvin Bloom, PhD
Erika Litvin Bloom, PhD

Erika Litvin Bloom, PhD, was recently published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research for her research findings on a smoking cessation intervention for women. Dr. Bloom consulted with Advance-CTR's Research Design, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics Core prior to submission on the data analysis and results interpretation of her study. Learn more about Dr. Bloom's research and what's next. 

The Study

"A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Distress Tolerance Treatment for Weight Concern in Smoking Cessation Among Women" (Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2020)

My research primarily focuses on tobacco and other substance use, including behavioral treatment development and weight and body image concerns in the context of tobacco use and cessation. More broadly, I am interested in increasing effectiveness, access to, and uptake of substance use treatment, as well as digital health and health care technology, and health behavior change theory and processes. 

In 2013, I received a 5-year, K23 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop and conduct a pilot randomized trial of a novel group-based smoking cessation intervention for women who want to quit smoking but have concerns about post-cessation weight gain. My mentors and collaborators on the project included Richard Brown, PhDSusan Ramsey, PhDAna Abrantes, PhDRena Wing, PhD, and Christopher Kahler, PhD.


People who smoke are more likely to have lower socioeconomic status (low income and/or education level) and have much higher rates of medical and psychiatric comorbidities including depression and other substance use disorders compared to people who don't smoke cigarettes. Furthermore, smokers with comorbidities tend to have more difficulty in quitting. The development of more effective smoking cessation treatments should help reduce health disparities and improve health equity.

How the Biostatistics Core Helped

I completed my project in 2018 and reached out to the Biostatistics Core for help with the data analysis, which involved mixed models with individual participants nested within treatment groups. Dr. Janine Molino was extremely helpful in guiding me through the data analysis process. Her contributions greatly strengthened my manuscript, and I added her as an author on the publication as a result. In January 2020, the paper was published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

What's Next: 

In April 2019, I began a new position as a Behavioral/Social Scientist at RAND Corporation, a non-profit research institute, in the company's Boston office. I continue to retain an adjunct faculty position at the Alpert Medical School and conduct research. I am currently the Co-PI of a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded Fast Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. Our goal is to develop and test a smartphone-delivered tobacco cessation program with social gaming and financial incentive components.