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Dynamics of state tobacco control making

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Michael Givel, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 1999 (Cycle 8) Grant #: 8FT-0095 Award: $70,000
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Not long ago, tobacco agreements were approved by all fifty state attorney generals and the tobacco industry. This situation created wide curiosity about how the state governments will choose to use their large amount of new funding. This project will look at how California and Florida will now spend their funds on anti-smoking programs. It will also look at tobacco control programs in New Jersey, Washington, Mississippi, and Missouri. In California, the Democrats have now taken control of the governor's mansion. In the past in California, the Republicans controlled the governor's mansion. Florida has the opposite situation. In the past, the Democrats controlled the governor's mansion. Now, the Republicans control the governor's mansion. In Missouri, New Jersey, Washington, and Mississippi, there has been no change in political party in the governor's mansion. Each of these states are in different parts of the country and have governors of different political parties. Each of these states already have small anti-smoking efforts. They have not yet set up a major statewide anti-smoking effort.

In order to accurately understand how anti-smoking efforts will take place in these states, this study will look at whether the anti-smoking advertising effort done by a state named the tobacco companies and showed that they were a big cause of smoking; if the anti-smoking funds were used for other purposes such as health care for the poor; if the anti-smoking efforts were slowed down or stopped because different government agencies were clashing in the way they ran the anti-smoking effort; if the anti-smoking effort had a correct and true way to be looked at and judged; and if the anti-smoking program involved just youth or both youth and adults. Because Missouri, New Jersey, Washington, and Mississippi have not set up major statewide anti-smoking programs yet, this study will also look at their anti-smoking funding efforts after they set up the programs in the near future. One important part of this study will be looking at what ways state legislatures will assist or even change the way governors spend the new funds on anti-smoking programs and for what reasons. State legislatures can do this by passing budgets, making new laws, or by calling government employees to hearings to explain how they are using the anti-smoking money.

Final Report
More than two years ago, the national tobacco settlements focused wide attention on how effectively state governors and legislatures would utilize settlement funds in their implementation of tobacco control efforts. As a result of the national settlements, governors initially developed and proposed budgets with any constraints that they chose to place on the programs.

The research design for this analysis, due to changes in gubernatorial administration and party were a pre- and post-comparison of vigorousness of implementation of comprehensive tobacco control policies in California. In order that causality can be attributed in this pre- and post-test comparison in California, the design of this study also included Florida as a crossover comparison to California. In order that causality may be further attributed, this research design utilized the control states of Missouri, New Jersey, Mississippi, and-Washington. Each of these states have smaller tobacco control programs and two years ago had not begun to establish a comprehensive state tobacco control program. A crucial mitigating factor regarding these programmatic and budgetary proposals was the response of state legislatures with their power of appropriation, authorization, and oversight.

Policy evaluations of gubernatorial actions regarding the vigorousness of tobacco control in California and Florida were accomplished through a comparison of tobacco control orientations before and after the tobacco settlements and the installment of new administrations. Vigorousness in this study was defined as having a program that engages in a media campaign naming the industry and linking it to smoking; does not divert funding to other purposes; does not maintain conflicting agency jurisdictions and commitments; has effective coordination between cooperating public agencies; establishes a scientifically and statistically rigorous research and evaluation component; and addresses both youth and adult smoking issues rather than just youth tobacco control programs. Since Missouri, New Jersey, Washington, and Mississippi are the control states in this study, their vigorousness of tobacco control policy making were examined during and after the establishment of the tobacco control program in each of these states.

My research findings have shown that organized health groups and professionals who only engage in traditional insider lobbying approaches at the state level are usually unlikely to counter the influence of pro-tobacco politicians at the state level unless they also engage, when appropriate, in grassroots and outsider pressure approaches such as newspaper ads or public forums that hold these state politicians publicly accountable for their actions. The primary reason for this is that the tobacco industry is immensely wealthy and uses its vast financial resources in insider lobbying efforts coordinated through experienced contract lobbyists much more effectively than non-profit health groups. These bundle of insider approaches of influence include: direct and indirect campaign contributions, gifts, honoraria, sponsorship of group entertainment events, building alliances with "natural" allies such as the hospitality industry, and funding third party front groups. The health groups, on the other hand, must rely on their good reputation along with astute insider and outsider.

Tobacco lobby political influence on state legislatures and tobacco control policy making in the 1990s
Periodical: Tobacco Control Index Medicus:
Authors: Givel M, Glantz S ART
Yr: 0 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg: