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Tobacco Control News and Notes

Content on this page is provided for reference purposes only. It is no longer maintained and may now be outdated.

We are delighted to launch a new discussion today - featuring "tidbits" and dispatches from the State and Community Tobacco Control (SCTC) Research community - specifically their Community Engagement workgroup.  On a highly informal and unscheduled basis, they will "pop" on R2R with an article of interest or other feature.

Do you have an tobacco control article that caught your eye? Post it!

Do you have something to say about something you read here? Join the discussion!


Let's kick this off with a

Let's kick this off with a recent pub by Fallin and Glanz:

Amanda Fallin and Stan Glanz recently published "Tobacco-control policies in tobacco-growing states: where tobacco was king" in Millbank Quarterly  that explains why, after years of lagging the rest of the country, progress on tobacco control is now taking place there.

Here is the abstract (courtesy of Stan):

Policy Points: The tobacco companies prioritized blocking tobacco-control policies in tobacco-growing states and partnered with tobacco farmers to oppose tobacco-control policies. The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, which settled state litigation against the cigarette companies, the 2004 tobacco-quota buyout, and the companies' increasing use of foreign tobacco led to a rift between the companies and tobacco farmers. In 2003, the first comprehensive smoke-free local law was passed in a major tobacco-growing state, and there has been steady progress in the region since then. Health advocates should educate the public and policymakers on the changing reality in tobacco-growing states, notably the major reduction in the volume of tobacco produced.

CONTEXT: The 5 major tobacco-growing states (Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) are disproportionately affected by the tobacco epidemic, with higher rates of smoking and smoking-induced disease. These states also have fewer smoke-free laws and lower tobacco taxes, 2 evidence-based policies that reduce tobacco use. Historically, the tobacco farmers and hospitality associations allied with the tobacco companies to oppose these policies.

METHODS: This research is based on 5 detailed case studies of these states, which included key informant interviews, previously secret tobacco industry documents (available at, and media articles. This was supplemented with additional tobacco document and media searches specifically for this article.

FINDINGS: The tobacco companies were particularly concerned about blocking tobacco-control policies in the tobacco-growing states by promoting a pro-tobacco culture, beginning in the late 1960s. Nevertheless, since 2003, there has been rapid progress in the tobacco-growing states' passage of smoke-free laws. This progress came after the alliance between the tobacco companies and the tobacco farmers fractured and hospitality organizations stopped opposing smoke-free laws. In addition, infrastructure built by National Cancer Institute research projects (COMMIT and ASSIST) led to long-standing tobacco-control coalitions that capitalized on these changes. Although tobacco production has dramatically fallen in these states, pro-tobacco sentiment still hinders tobacco-control policies in the major tobacco-growing states.

CONCLUSIONS: The environment has changed in the tobacco-growing states, following a fracture of the alliance between the tobacco companies and their former allies (tobacco growers and hospitality organizations). To continue this progress, health advocates should educate the public and policymakers on the changing reality in the tobacco-growing states, notably the great reduction in the number of tobacco farmers as well as in the volume of tobacco produced.


The full paper is availablehere.

This post is on Stan's blog at and @ProfGlantz.

Thought you might be

Thought you might be interested in this article too.  Community reductions in youth smoking after raising the minimum tobacco sales age to 21:

I'd also like to share some

I'd also like to share some news from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project about the publication of their second Economics Supplement: The Economics of Tobacco Control (Part 2): Evidence from the in Tobacco Control.

It contained 13 papers and an Introduction by Guest Editor, Corné van Walbeek at University of Cape Town. These papers allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities associated with tax and price increases, focusing on three main themes.

·        The impact of tax and price measures on individual behaviour,

·        The impact of the neighbourhood environment on smoking behaviour, and

·        An analysis of policy on the effectiveness of excise tax changes.

The supplement is free to access at:

The research team's first ITC Economics Supplement was published in 2014, both in English and Chinese. It is also free to access at: The ITC Project is funded in part by grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Also as a follow-up, BMJ produced a podcast BMJ Talk on this Supplement. Corné van Walbeek hosted the podcast interview with Geoffrey Fong and Frank Chaloupka on the links between the results across different countries in these 13 articles. The accompanying podcast to this Supplement is now available at

Please tweet and forward this link!!!

Hi all -   I hope you're

Hi all -
I hope you're enjoying your summer!
I just wanted to send out another quick reminder that the call for poster abstracts for the National Conference on Tackling Tobacco in Vulnerable Populations is still open. (see attached)  If you, or anyone in your organization has some interesting research or information about best practices to share with the field, please consider sending in an abstract.  The conference plans to do a good job highlighting the posters and giving poster presenters a chance to show their work to a large audience.  

Here’s an invite to a webinar

Here’s an invite to a webinar next week from our friends at EPA.  Feel free to register & join in if you’re interested. 

Take care,


Breathing Easy at Home: Partnering to Increase Smoke-Free Policies in Federally Assisted Housing

Webinar: Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Q&A Session: 3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. EDT in the Discussion Forum

Did you know that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a universal asthma trigger and that more than half of children with asthma are exposed to ETS? Did you also know that 7 out of 10 black children continue to be exposed to ETS?   By implementing comprehensive smoke-free policies in your area, you could see a reduction in hospital admissions for asthma in children.  HUD estimates that over 500 federally assisted housing communities across the country have implemented a smoke-free policy.   Learn how you can help continue this momentum by providing technical assistance on smoke-free policies in federally assisted and privately owned multifamily properties.

Join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT, for the webinar Breathing Easy at Home: Partnering to Increase Smoke-Free Policies in Federally Assisted Housing.  Participants will hear about policies and best practices that eliminate the health threat posed by ETS and learn how to advocate for and support smoke-free policy adoption in federally assisted and privately owned multifamily properties.

Don’t miss the chance to have your questions answered during the webinar. Please post your questions in the Discussion Forumon Questions, not addressed during the webinar itself, will be answered online in the Discussion Forum during the Q&A session, from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT.You must be a member of to post questions on the forum. 

Register Today:

Happy Monday! Enjoy the

Happy Monday!

Enjoy the latest version of the SCTC Digest -

As a reminder, the purpose of this digest is to inform key tobacco control partners such as yourself of our work so that you can in turn share the information relevant to your constituents through your normal means of communication. If you see any released publications or products that could be useful for your constituents, feel free to share them in your newsletters. Additionally, if you see any upcoming publications or briefs with which you would like to coordinate program activities or news releases, do not hesitate to get in touch with me!

New Publications

Berg CJ, Ribisl KM, Thrasher JF, Haardörfer R, O’Connor J, Kegler MC. (2015). Reactions to cigarette taxes and related messaging: is the south different? Am J Health Behav doi: 10.5993/AJHB.39.5.13.

Berg CJ, Haardörfer R, Windle M, Solomon M, Kegler MC. (2015). Smoke-free policies in multiunit housing: smoking behavior and reactions to messaging strategies in support or in opposition. Prev Chronic Dis. doi:

Zhu SH, Cummins SE, Gamst AC, Wong S, Ikeda T. (2015). Quitting smoking before and after varenicline: a population study based on two representative samples of US smokers.BMI. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052332.



Policies that increase the price of tobacco through tobacco taxes have the potential to decrease tobacco use and increase tobacco quit rates among tobacco users. Southeastern U.S. states have typically lagged in adopting tobacco control policies. In addition to having a high proportion of low-income populations, these states have among the highest tobacco use rates and lowest tax rates.

Because public opinion has the ability to influence policymakers’ willingness to support policies, the purpose of this study was to examine the reactions to messaging around tobacco taxes among U.S. residents. The study compared the attitudes/knowledge around tobacco taxes for those living in Southeastern states to those not living in southeastern states. Additionally, participants were asked about their opinion on the persuasiveness around each of the messages presented to them.

Value added

This study provides much needed information about what residents of the southeastern United States believe about tobacco tax increases and the types of persuasive messages that could build additional support for them.

Study findings

·         Southeasterners understood that their states had low tobacco taxes and supported increasing them.

·         Southeasterners found the following messages uniquely persuasive: youth tobacco use and prevention, individual rights and responsibilities, and increased hospitality to their state.


Messages that focus on youth tobacco use, prevention, individual rights and responsibilities, and hospitality may be the most effective approach for promoting tax policies in southeastern states.



A significant number of U.S. adults live in multi-unit housing (MUH). In the absence of smoke-free MUH policies, residents in these establishments are at risk of being exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS), which easily travels through apartment doors, stairwells, cracks, and vents. Smoking restrictions in MUH complexes may reduce smoking and exposure to SHS.

This study investigated residents’ reactions to select messages they were provided with on smoke-free MUH policies. Eleven messages were provided in support of smoke-free MUH policies and nine opposing them.

Value added

This study provides insightful information on MUH residents’ reactions to messages about smoke-free MUH policies. Messages seen as most persuasive could be used to build support for smoke-free MUH policies.

Study findings

·         Most popular messages, both in support of and opposition to smoke-free MUH policies, were related to individual rights and responsibilities. (Support: You have the right to breathe clean air in your home. Opposition: People have the right to smoke in their own homes.)

·         Least popular messages, both in support of and opposition to smoke-free MUH policies, were related to mortality or religion.


Messages that focus on individual rights may be the most effective approach for building support for smoke-free MUH policies and for countering resistance to those policies.



Medications can help tobacco users quit by reducing withdrawal symptoms to nicotine. Two common tobacco cessation drugs prescribed by physicians are bupropion and varenicline. Bupropion was originally used as an antidepressant under the brand name Wellbutrin, and more recently marketed as a cessation name under the brand name Zyban. Varenicline was introduced under the brand name Chantix as a cessation drug in 2006 and is clinically proven to be very effective in treating nicotine dependence among individuals.

The goal of this study was to see if varenicline had an impact on quit rates. Data from two waves of the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey were analyzed in 2003, 3 years before varenicline was introduced, and 2010-2011, 4 years after it was introduced.

Value added

This is the first study to assess the effect of varenicline on national smoking quit rates.

Study findings

·         The use of medications to help tobacco users quit increased by 2.4% between 2003 and 2010-2011, but varied by time and product used.

§  Varenicline use increased from 0.0% to 10.9%.

§  Bupropion use decreased from 9.1% to 3.5%.

§  Nicotine replacement therapy use decreased slightly, from 24.5% to 22.4%.

·         For the first 3 months of a quit attempt varenicline users were less likely to relapse than other medication users. After 3 months, users of all three products were equally likely to relapse.

·         Varenicline did not increase the population cessation rate. 


The study findings suggests that introducing a new cessation drug may increase its use over other drugs, but it will not affect the national quit rates. Public health practitioners may need to consider other strategies to increase quit attempts.


Hey all! CDC’s Office on

Hey all!

CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products just announced the release of the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) data as well as the availability of the accompanying questionnaire, methodology report, and codebook.

NYTS is administered to U.S. youth in grades 6 through 12 and is designed to provide nationally representative data about youth’s tobacco-related beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and exposure to pro-tobacco and anti-tobacco influences.

These materials are available on CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site. To access and download the data, visit


Whoa! Did you see this? The

Whoa! Did you see this?

The Center for Public Health Systems Science at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Office on Smoking and Health recently released a Best Practices user guide on Health Equity in Tobacco Prevention and Control. The 52-page guide is based on current research and interviews with local, state, and national experts. The Health Equity user guide offers tobacco control program staff and partners information on how to work toward achieving health equity when planning, implementing, and enforcing tobacco control policies.                      

The user guide can help you:

  • Select and implement evidence-based strategies to promote health equity and reduce tobacco-related disparities;
  • Learn from real-world examples of efforts to achieve health equity in tobacco prevention and control;
  • Provide information to gain support for tobacco control efforts that focus on health equity; and
  • Identify the best tobacco control resources and tools to help in planning efforts.

Let me know if you have received your copy and how you plan to use it!

CDC will disseminate the guide to tobacco control staff and partners nationwide. We hope that you will share the guide with your staff, partners, and other tobacco control practitioners. Downloadable copies of the guide are accessible from the CDC website and the CPHSS website

Wow, this is an outstanding

Wow, this is an outstanding list of public health interventions established at the local level.


I hope these policies prove to be as successful as they are intended to be. And that many other jurisdictions around the country would undertake a similar comprehensive approach to tobacco prevention and control!


I believe that they will have a very positive impact on the health and well-being of New Yorkers, and they can serve as role-models for other parts of the country.




New York City Passes Sweeping Package of Bills to Further Reduce Tobacco Use


Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today New York City has again taken bold action to further reduce tobacco use, the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States. The New York City Council approved a sweeping package of legislation introduced in April by Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of the Council that will increase the price and reduce the availability of cigarettes and other tobacco products.


These measures build on the enormous progress New York City has made in reducing tobacco use. They will prevent children from starting to use tobacco, encourage current tobacco users to quit and save lives. Thanks to these strong and innovative laws, New York City will again be a national leader in fighting tobacco use.


We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Members Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Fernando Cabrera, James Vacca and Ritchie Torres, and other public health advocates for championing this legislation and providing strong leadership in the fight against tobacco.


The bills approved today will:

  • Raise the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, establish minimum prices and minimum pack sizes for other tobacco products and establish a 10 percent tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes, with proceeds directed to public housing.
  • Prohibit the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies.
  • Cap the number of tobacco retailers in the city and cut the number in half through attrition.
  • Require a retail license to sell electronic cigarettes and cap e-cigarette licenses in a similar way to other tobacco licenses.
  • Increase the fee for tobacco retail licenses.
  • Require residential buildings to establish smoking policies and disclose them to both current and prospective residents.


These measures will save lives and improve the health of New York City residents for generations to come.

Big news!  As many of you may

Big news!  As many of you may know, this has been a long time coming and quite a big deal.

 Washington Post (Business) Cigarette makers to publish new statements on health risks

RICHMOND, Va. — Starting next month, major U.S. cigarette companies will publish a series of statements about the health risks of smoking.

The court-ordered “corrective statements” will run on television and in newspapers as part of an agreement in a 1999 lawsuit brought by the federal government that accused cigarette makers of deceiving the public.

The statements will include: “Smoking is highly addictive” and “Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans every day.”

Altria Group Inc., the Richmond, Virginia-based parent company of cigarette-maker Philip Morris USA — will jointly run the ads with its competitor, Reynolds American Inc., and several other companies.

Altria told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the tobacco manufacturers had reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on the timing of the statements.

In a news release, Altria said it’s working to develop less risky tobacco products.

Additional coverage: