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Tobacco industry targeting of African Americans

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Ruth Malone, Ph.D., R.N.
Award Cycle: 2000 (Cycle 9) Grant #: 9RT-0095 Award: $99,680
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Recent reports call attention to substantial differential, negative health impacts of tobacco use among communities of color, and to troubling trends in tobacco use. Current-smoking rates among African American youth increased 80% from 1991 to 1997. Among all racial/ethnic groups, African Americans currently have the worst mortality from major tobacco related diseases. Because this group bears such a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related health problems, it is particularly urgent that researchers understand more about industry efforts to promote tobacco use in African American communities.

Millions of pages of internal tobacco industry documents released as a result of several legal cases offer unprecedented opportunities to learn more about industry strategies for targeting African Americans. The documents contain information about strategies to promote tobacco and undermine tobacco control efforts. To date, however, no focused research on industry targeting of California African Americans has been undertaken. This project will provide pilot data and generate additional research questions to be explored in future studies aimed at developing countermarketing interventions to reduce tobacco use among California African Americans.

The overall objectives of this project are to increase understanding of tobacco industry strategies for targeting African Americans and to assess responses to information found in the documents. The specific aims of the project are:

1) Retrieve and analyze for countermarketing potential internal tobacco industry documents specifically related to tobacco industry targeting of California African Americans; and 2) Gauge potential usefulness of the information found in documents for media/countermarketing intervention purposes by presenting information from the documents to focus groups of African Americans in at least two different California cities and analyzing their responses.

African American leadership groups: Smoking with the enemy.
Periodical: Tobacco Control Index Medicus:
Authors: Yerger VB, & Malone RE ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 11 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 336 - 345

Tobacco industry surveillance of public health groups: The case of STAT and INFACT.
Periodical: American Journal of Public Health Index Medicus:
Authors: Malone RE ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 92 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 955 - 960