Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death, accounting for one-third of all cancers and nearly two-thirds of heart disease among people under 55. Reducing tobacco-induced disease requires understanding how its vector, the tobacco industry, maintains a social and policy environment favorable to smoking. To understand a microbe, one might study its genome;the tobacco industry's "genome" is its written record of research and decision making in the form of over 51 million pages of previously secret internal tobacco industry documents. This application extends our current work to address tobacco industry influence on science and policy making in the emerging US and global regulatory environment, and to learn from the industry's promotional strategies targeting young adults and women to develop improved counter-measures.
Specific aims are: (1) Describe and assess the tobacco industry's evolving strategies to influence the conduct, interpretation, and dissemination of science and how the industry has used these strategies to oppose tobacco control policies, with particular emphasis on how these efforts relate to emerging national and international product regulations by the US Food and Drug Administration and its counterparts in other countries. (2) Analyze evolving tobacco industry strategies to oppose tobacco control policies at the local, state, and international level, including efforts to undermine implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. (3) Analyze tobacco marketing and advertising strategies aimed at young adults and women, with an emphasis on identifying principles that can be applied to develop more effective tobacco prevention and cessation strategies for these groups. (4) Continue to locate and collect tobacco industry documents relevant to the other Aims of this project and make them freely available to other investigators and the public via the Internet. While this research makes systematic use of digitized tobacco industry documents as a data source, we will also triangulate with other sources (including government records, media coverage of issues discussed in the documents, the academic literature and interviews with key informants) to confirm whether plans described in the documents were actually implemented and to assess their effect. Results of this research will guide the development of more informed and effective tobacco control strategies which will help reduce tobacco use and its associated burden of disease and death.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, accounting for 1/3 of all cancers and nearly 2/3 of heart disease among people under 55. Reducing this burden of disease requires understanding how the tobacco industry maintains a favorable social and policy environment to promote smoking so that public health professionals can develop and implement effective programs to prevent smoking and promote cessation.
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