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NCI Awards Grants for New State and Community Tobacco Control Initiative

  • Posted: October 19, 2000

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded over $13 million in first-year funding for its new antismoking initiative, the Research in State and Community Tobacco Control Interventions. These 12 grants will support research on innovative tobacco prevention and control interventions at the community, state, or multistate level, and emphasize collaboration between tobacco control researchers and state-based tobacco control programs. The funds announced today will be used for the first year of the four-year projects.

In announcing these grants, Richard D. Klausner, M.D., director of the NCI, said "NCI is continuing our commitment to sound scientific research to determine which interventions are most effective in reducing and preventing tobacco use among diverse populations. We know that smoking is still responsible for over one-third of all cancer deaths and that the findings of these research projects will provide important insight into how we can reduce the burden of disease and death from cancer caused by tobacco."

State-wide programs to reduce tobacco use have combined multiple approaches in order to have the greatest impact on smoking rates. These programs emphasize mass media campaigns and policy interventions. Many more states are now planning similar investments in tobacco control programs, or are contemplating how to allocate settlement funds. "This research initiative was established to provide critical information about the separate and combined effects of these interventions. If the interventions are effective, we will add to the evidence-based tools available to state and communities as they embark on new tobacco control efforts," noted Scott J. Leischow, Ph.D., new chief of the Tobacco Control Research Branch.

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. Therefore, programs designed to reduce tobacco use among both children and adults are an important aspect of NCI's overall cancer prevention and control efforts. "These grants study the effects of population-based interventions in youth, young adults, and long-term smokers," said Barbara K. Rimer, Dr.P.H., director of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. "In particular, the grants emphasize communication and policy-oriented studies. This new initiative will ensure that NCI remains at the cutting edge of innovative tobacco control research."

According to Bob Vollinger, program director for State and Community Tobacco Control Interventions Research in NCI's Tobacco Control Research Branch, "We are at a critical juncture in tobacco prevention and control efforts in the United States. Policy-makers will rightly demand that public funds be spent wisely on effective interventions to reduce and prevent tobacco use. Findings from these research grants will be extremely useful in guiding the future of state and community-based tobacco control interventions."

A revised Request for Applications (RFA) for additional State and Community Tobacco Control Interventions Research studies will be issued in October 2000. NCI expects to fund another eight to 10 projects with the next round of funding.

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A list of grantees is attached. For more information on on NCI's Tobacco Control Research Branch, please visit the TCRB's Web page at

Research in State and Community Tobacco Control Interventions Grantees
Listed Alphabetically by State
Principal Investigator
Grant Number
First-Year Award
Title of StudyDescription
Myra Crawford, Ph.D., M.P.H.
University of Alabama
at Birmingham
Birmingham, Ala.
The Alabama Tobacco Free Families ProgramReduce smoking prevalence among a representative sample of pregnant females who receive maternity care support from Medicaid.
David B. Buller, Ph.D.
AMC Cancer Research Center
Denver, Colo.
Web-based Support for Community Tobacco Control CoalitionsEvaluate a Web-based technical assistance program on community tobacco control and whether it can be effectively used by state tobacco control professionals and tobacco control coalition members to achieve gains in community- based tobacco control in Colorado.
Melanie Wakefield, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Ill.
Youth Smoking and the MediaRelate anti-tobacco advertising on television and news coverage of tobacco issues to trends in youth smoking across the United States. The grant will explore the relative impact of anti- tobacco advertising, newspaper coverage on tobacco, and other measures of tobacco policy and environment to youth smoking.
Pamela I. Clark, Ph.D.
Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation
Baltimore, Md.
Business Practices and Minors' Access to TobaccoEstimate the national prevalence of retailer incentives, density of in-store tobacco advertising, and retail sales to youth; test a comprehensive model of the predictors of sales of tobacco to youth; and assess the degree to which the retail environment is pro-tobacco.
Michael Begay, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, Mass.
Studying Tobacco Control Policy in MassachusettsEstimate the national prevalence of retailer incentives, density of in-store tobacco advertising, and retail sales to youth; test a comprehensive model of the predictors of sales of tobacco to youth; and assess the degree to which the retail environment is pro-tobacco.
Lois Biener, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, Mass.
Denormalizing Smoking via Policy and Media InterventionsEvaluate the effectiveness of three major types of public health interventions being used by the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program: local clean indoor air policies; local policies to restrict youth access to tobacco products; and televised anti-tobacco media campaigns
Judith Ockene, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester, Mass.
Policy to Support Tobacco Treatment in Health CareEvaluate Massachusetts state policy designed to make tobacco treatment services available to a wide group of adult tobacco users, especially those at greatest risk for smoking.
Jean L. Forster, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Minneapolis, Minn.
Effect of Minnesota State and Local Programs on Youth Tobacco UseMeasure adolescent tobacco use patterns and tobacco- related attitudes and perceptions over time at the community and individual level by using a combination of study designs. The project will relate programs funded by the Minnesota tobacco prevention endowment to changes in youth tobacco use behaviors and attitudes.
K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, N.Y.
Follow-up of the COMMIT Cohort Participants 13 Years LaterEvaluate the long-term impact of NCI's COMMIT (Community Intervention Trial for smoking cessation) program on community- based tobacco control policies and the tobacco use behaviors of adult smokers.
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Oregon Research Institute
Eugene, Ore.
Tobacco Control Activities and Adolescent Tobacco UseDiscover the effects of both tobacco control practices and individual risk factors on the prevalence of tobacco use among high school and middle school students.
Jack F. Hollis, Ph.D.
Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research
Portland, Ore.
Efficacy and Cost of State Quitline PoliciesStudy how to most effectively support smokers who call the Oregon Quitline for assistance.
Alfred McAlister, Ph.D.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, Texas
Texas Multi-cultural Regional-Community Tobacco StudiesEvaluate regional media, community, and policy activities in Texas and investigate their effects in the three major cultural groups in Texas: Anglo-, Hispanic-, and African-Americans.