UCSF, UC Merced to Study Effectiveness of Anti-Tobacco Programs

By Elizabeth Fernandez, Public Affairs | September 7, 2011

Researchers with the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Merced will examine the effectiveness of state and local anti-smoking programs across the United States to ensure that health authorities are able to use their increasingly limited resources to support and defend the most effective approaches.

S.GlantzStanton A. Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine; James Lightwood, PhD, UCSF assistant professor of clinical pharmacy; and Anna V. Song, PhD, UC Merced professor of psychology, have been awarded a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study which anti-smoking programs are working best and how the tobacco industry tries to prevent states from pursuing the most effective tobacco control policies and programs.

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in California and the nation. Not all programs are equally effective in reducing smoking or bringing down health costs. Understanding which programs are best can help inform government policy decisions and make sure money is spent on effective programs, the researchers say.

“California’s tobacco control program has already saved California taxpayers and businesses well over $86 billion in direct health costs,” Glantz said. “With this research, we hope to inform policy makers and public health professionals how we can essentially eliminate tobacco as a public health problem in California in the next few years.”


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