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Use of Existing Data to Develop Tobacco Control Strategies

Institution: University of California, San Diego
Investigator(s): Karen Messer, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2006 (Cycle 15) Grant #: 15RT-0238 Award: $418,699
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
In 1989, California became the first US state to establish a Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program, with a primary goal to reduce tobacco use throughout the state. Funded by a voter-introduced increase in the tobacco tax (a tax increase which itself has been shown to reduce tobacco use), the program includes funding for research into “the prevention, causes, and treatment of tobacco-related diseases.” This includes research into effective Tobacco Control policies which reduce initiation of smoking among adolescents, which help existing smokers to quit smoking, and which help protect non-smokers from secondhand tobacco smoke. As part of program evaluation, since 1990 the California Department of Health Services has contracted with the UCSD Tobacco Control group to conduct the California Tobacco Survey, a large population survey of attitudes, behaviors, and media exposure regarding smoking and tobacco use. This survey interviews a random sample of twenty thousand to thirty thousand California adolescents and adults every three years, and is a primary source of information about trends in smoking in California. However, the contract to conduct the surveys does not fund research.

In this continuation grant, we plan to complete several ongoing projects and initiate new projects which build on our existing history of research using the California Tobacco Survey and other large population surveys on tobacco use. Our research has focused on population trends and influences on tobacco-use behavior, adding to the scientific knowledge base about effective actions to reduce tobacco use. During the current three year funding period we have published thirty five research papers which investigate patterns of tobacco use and what works in tobacco control.

For example, under the existing TRDRP grant our recent work has shown that adolescent receptivity to tobacco advertising (having a favorite cigarette ad or a tobacco promotional item) predicts future adult smoking, and that the strength of this relationship did not abate after the Master Settlement Agreement in 1998. However, on the positive side, our work also shows that the proportion of California adolescents who are receptive to such advertising has diminished, and that adolescent smoking rates are down sharply in California.

In the present grant we plan to continue this work under three main topics. First, we will compare the population effectiveness of differing tobacco control policies among US states which have widely varying approaches to tobacco control, including among diverse subpopulations. For example, a proposed project investigates whether the California program was associated specifically with decreased smoking uptake, increased quitting and/or reduced smoking intensity among Mexican-American Californians. As a comparison group, we propose to use the significant populations of Mexican Americans in other states, such as Texas, that have not had a well-funded tobacco control program.

We will also investigate evidence for an association of tobacco industry activity with increases in harmful tobacco-use behaviors. For example, marketing activity by the tobacco industry targeting young adults has recently increased, especially in bars and clubs, including over 20,000 “bar nights” sponsored by the tobacco industry in California in 2004 alone. We will explore whether there is an association between attendance at bars and clubs, willingness to use a tobacco promotional item, and initiation of smoking in young adulthood (ages 18-24 years).

Finally, we will draw inferences about changing patterns and predictors of smoking behavior which have implications for future tobacco control action. For example, we have shown that there was a major decline in experimentation with cigarettes in young California teens starting in 1996. We will investigate to what extend this carried through to reduced smoking rates in adulthood, and to what extent smoking uptake patterns may have changed towards older ages.

The California tobacco Control Progrm's effect on adult smokers (2) Daily cigarette consumption levels.
Periodical: Tobacco Control Index Medicus:
Authors: Karen Messer ART
Yr: 2007 Vol: 16 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 91-95

The California tobacco control program's effect on adult smokers: (3) similar effects for African Americans across states.
Periodical: Tobacco Control Index Medicus:
Authors: Karen Messer ART
Yr: 2007 Vol: 16 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 96-100

Trends in smoking among Hispanic women in California relationship to English Language use.
Periodical: American Journal of Preventative Medicine Index Medicus:
Authors: Karen Messer ART
Yr: 2006 Vol: 31 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 257-260

Recepitvity to tobacco advertising and promotions among young adolsecents as a predictor of established smoking in young adulthood.
Periodical: American Journal of Public Health Index Medicus:
Authors: Gilpin, EA, White, MM, Messer, K, Pierce, JP ART
Yr: 2007 Vol: Nbr: 97 Abs: Pg: 1489-1495

Smoking trends among Filipino adults in California 1990-2002.
Periodical: Preventive Medicine Index Medicus:
Authors: Romero, RA, Messer, K, West, JH, White M, Trinidad, D ART
Yr: 2008 Vol: 46 Nbr: 4 Abs: Pg: 336-9

Tobacco industry marketing, population-based tobacco control and smoking behavior
Periodical: American Journal of Preventative Medicine Index Medicus:
Authors: Pierce, JP ART
Yr: 2007 Vol: 33 Nbr: 6S Abs: Pg: S327-S334

Smoking cessation rates in the United States: A comparison of young adult and older smokers.
Periodical: American Journal of Public Health Index Medicus:
Authors: Messer, K, Trinidad, DR, Al-Delaimy, WK, PIerce, JP ART
Yr: 2008 Vol: Nbr: 98 Abs: Pg: 317-322

The effect of smoke-free homes on smoking behavior in the United States 1992-2002
Periodical: American Journal of Preventative Medicine Index Medicus:
Authors: Messer K, Mills, AL, White MM, Pierce JP ART
Yr: 0 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg:

Intermittent and light smoking across race/ethnic groups in the United States
Periodical: Nicotine and Tobacco Research Index Medicus:
Authors: Trinidad, D, Perez-Stable, EF, Emery, SL, White, MM, Grana, RA, Messer, K ART
Yr: 0 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg: