Publication Abstract

Authors: Hartman AM, Thun MJ, Ballard-Barbash R, Organizing Committee

Title: Linking tobacco control policies and practices to early cancer endpoints: surveillance as an agent for change.

Journal: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 17(9):2215-9

Date: 2008 Sep

Abstract: State tobacco control programs provide an important laboratory for the development, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive tobacco control interventions. Studies have shown that states and municipalities with aggressive tobacco control programs have experienced more rapid decreases in per capita cigarette sales, smoking prevalence, lung cancer, and heart disease than entities without such programs. Despite strong evidence that population-level interventions are critical in achieving large and sustained reductions in tobacco use, states do not fund tobacco control efforts at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of these activities is essential to inform and strengthen tobacco control at the state level. A workshop, co-organized by the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was held in Philadelphia in December, 2007, to discuss the topic "Linking tobacco control policies and practices to early cancer endpoints: surveillance as an agent for change." Participants represented three different disciplines. Tobacco surveillance researchers described the data currently collected on state-level tobacco control policies, protobacco countermeasures by the industry, public attitudes toward tobacco use, and measures of smoking prevalence and consumption. Cancer registry experts described the geographic coverage of high quality, population-based cancer registries. Mathematical modeling experts discussed various modeling approaches that can be used to relate upstream tobacco promotion and control activities to downstream measures such as public attitudes, changes in tobacco use, and trends in tobacco-related diseases. The most important recommendation of the Workshop was a call for national leadership to enhance the collection and integration of data from multiple sources as a resource to further study and strengthen the scientific basis for tobacco control.