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Nicotine Tob Res. 1999;1 Suppl 1:S113-6.

Community-wide interventions for tobacco control.

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Department of Cancer Control & Epidemiology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


This article describes the rationale and evidence supporting community-wide interventions for tobacco control. Data were collected from published evaluation studies, government reports, and commentaries that describe the use of community-based approaches to tobacco control. Community-wide interventions attempt to change tobacco use in populations--not just individuals--and have increasingly begun to focus on influencing policies that promote and/or tolerate tobacco use. Examples of community-based tobacco-control activities include organizing community groups to advocate adoption of tobacco-control ordinances (e.g., smoke-free restaurants, ban on self-service tobacco displays); media advocacy to raise public awareness about illegal tobacco sales to minors; paid counter-advertising; and sponsorship of community-wide stop-smoking events such as a quit-and-win contest. Evidence in support of the effectiveness of community-based interventions to reduce smoking is found in the consistently sharper decline in tobacco consumption observed in states that have invested in comprehensive tobacco-prevention and control programs compared to those that have not. However, the results from several randomized controlled trials of community-based tobacco-control interventions have been disappointing in demonstrating large-scale changes in tobacco use. Although there appears to be a wide consensus that community-based approaches to tobacco control are an important part of a comprehensive program to reduce tobacco use, the essential elements and methods of implementation of some community-based tobacco-control efforts are less well defined. Also, given the dynamic nature of community tobacco-control interventions, the traditional randomized controlled trial model probably is not applicable for evaluation purposes. It is more likely that research models based on time-series designs will be most applicable for evaluating the impact of community-based interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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