New guides developed to help communities address tobacco issues

February 11, 2014 by Leslie Gibson Mccarthy

In January of 1964, the surgeon general released the first "Report on Smoking and Health," a landmark report that linked tobacco smoke to heart disease and lung cancer and laid the foundation for tobacco-control efforts in the United States.

Since then, 31 Surgeon General's Reports have been released, including the latest, "The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress," released Jan. 11. The anniversary report specifically called for tobacco-control policies to increase the price of tobacco products and implement smoke-free policies.

"Tremendous progress has been made in the 50 years after the release of the first Surgeon General's Report," said Douglas A. Luke, PhD, professor in the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and director of the Center for Public Health Systems Science (CPHSS). "Adult smoking rates have fallen from 43 percent in 1965 to 18 percent today.

"Cigarette smoking, however, continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in this country. We must renew our efforts with the tobacco-control interventions that we know work, like tax increases and smoke-free policies," he said.

CPHSS, in partnership with the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, a program of the Public Health Law Center in St. Paul, Minn., has published two new tobacco-control guides—one on policy strategies and another on pricing policy—that aim to give state and local communities the guidance and resources needed to move these policies forward.

"The timing couldn't be better," Luke said, "with this 50th anniversary report and with the announcement last week that CVS, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, was going to stop selling all tobacco products. CPHSS' tobacco-control guides offer strategies and solutions to help communities drive down tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure."

The publications are designed to provide national, state and local tobacco-control partners with practical guidance on selecting and implementing evidence-based tobacco-control strategies.

CPHSS mailed printed copies of both guides to every state tobacco-control manager Feb. 3, and the center is conducting a media and email campaign to get the word out to national tobacco-control partners, guide contributors and other key stakeholders in the tobacco fight.

The guides provide a one-two punch:

Policy Strategies provides guidance on how to work with the media, coalitions, decision makers, business owners and communities to create smoke-free environments, increase the cost of tobacco products and restrict access to such products.

Pricing Policy focuses on how to implement policies that effectively raise the cost of , including excise tax increases, nontax price-related policies and enforcement measures.

The guides include strategies to help tobacco-control proponents, such as:

  • select and implement evidence-based tobacco-control strategies;
  • learn from case studies of other practitioners' successes;
  • provide information to stakeholders to gain support for tobacco-control efforts; and
  • identify the best resources and tools to increase knowledge and capacity around the topic.

"The health effects of tobacco use are staggering," said principal investigator Sarah Moreland-Russell, PhD, assistant research professor and associate director of the CPHSS. "Even though we've been fighting this battle for over 50 years, there's still a long way to go.

"The 's most recent report confirms that comprehensive tobacco-control programs and policies are effective," she said, "but further gains can be made. These guides are designed to help communities implement evidence-based policy strategies in their communities to reduce tobacco use and exposure."

Explore further: Glance: US smoking over 50 years

More information: To learn more about CPHSS and the guides, visit cphss.wustl.edu and publichealthlawcenter.org.

Related Stories

Glance: US smoking over 50 years

February 5, 2014
Some key events and adult smoking rates in the fight over tobacco during the last 50 years in the U.S.:

ASCO issues recommendations for promoting tobacco control

July 30, 2013
(HealthDay)—The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has updated the 2003 recommendations on tobacco cessation and control; the policy statement has been published online July 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Much more must be done to lower smoking rates, experts say

January 22, 2014
(HealthDay)— State inaction and tobacco industry tactics are slowing tobacco control efforts in the United States, a new report from the American Lung Association finds.

50 years of tobacco control significantly extended lives of 8 million Americans

January 7, 2014
The Surgeon General's report of 1964 which outlined, for the first time, the effects of smoking on health, along with the tobacco control efforts that followed, are responsible for adding nearly 20 years of life to eight ...

States vary in implementation of smoking reduction policies

January 29, 2013
(HealthDay)—The prevalence of smoking and the implementation of combined interventions to reduce smoking vary between states, according to a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Extent of tobacco industry's lobbying tactics unveiled by new paper

February 6, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Policy-makers need to 'wise-up' to the methods used by the tobacco industry in attempts to influence marketing regulations, according to the authors of a new study published today.

Recommended for you

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?

July 27, 2017
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.