University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Center on Behavior and Health

VCBH Research News                       

WCAX Showcases New VCBH Study Aimed at Helping Moms Quit Smoking

Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., director of the VCBH, explains that the study is looking at low-income moms who smoke and have young kids. He says only about 20 percent of these moms are able to quit smoking when they find out they're pregnant. His new $3.6 million grant aims to help them.
View Story >>

VCBH Research the Topic of Vermont Edition on Vermont Public Radio

Jane Lindholm, host of VPR's Vermont Edition, spoke with Dr. Stephen Higgins, the director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, and Dr. Philip Ades, the director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at the University of Vermont Medical Center, about the research they do on risk behaviors and how incentive-based intervention minimizes these behaviors.

VCBH Receives New Grant to Help Mothers Quit Smoking

The VCBH is the recipient of a new $3.6 million R01 grant from the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. The goal is to study 250 women and their children to help mothers to quit smoking and to decrease secondhand smoke exposure among their young children. 


Vermont Medicine Magazine Examines VCBH Research in "The Hidden System"

VCBH researchers explore the choices people make that can have as much effect on their health as disorders that arise from the recognized systems of the body. Finding ways to work within this hidden system and guide patients toward positive change is the mission of these physicians and scientists.

VCBH Featured in Nature Article

The work of the VCBH was featured in an article, “Contingency Management: Why it Pays to Quit,” by Sujata Gupta, in the June 25 issue of Nature. “Bolstered by his short-term success in getting people who have become dependent on cocaine to quit, Higgins began searching for a population in which short-term changes could produce substantial benefits.”



VBHC research includes randomized clinical trials and outpatient laboratory studies on topics related to drug abuse and other health behaviors, behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology. Our research program is supported by P20, R01, R03 and R34 grants from the National Institutes of Health and also includes industry-sponsored projects.



The VCBH offers a well-established, multi-faceted training program, supported by a T32 training grant, the COBRE grant and research grants from the National Institutes on Health. Continuously funded since 1990 by an Institutional Training Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the VCBH is home to an excellent predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in substance abuse research.

News and Events

News & Events

VCBH Director Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., and colleagues, have developed an effective behavioral economic approach that offers pregnant women who smoke financial incentives to stop. The groups’ most recent findings were published online in Preventive Medicine and were also featured in an article published by the Huffington Post.

Last modified July 30 2015 01:49 PM