Brazil is the second largest producer of tobacco in the world, and 96% of the tobacco is produced is in the three Southern states (including the state of Parana - the proposed geographic setting for this application). Parana also has the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking among women in the country, and smoking initiation is higher among girls than boys. Recent guiding documents have identified the understanding of women and tobacco-related issues and the need for the development of gender-relevant tobacco control efforts as priorities, particularly in developing countries (e.g., WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco control, the Research for International Tobacco Control agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean). Therefore, we propose the development of a Network for Tobacco Control among Women in Parana, Brazil in order to establish community and institutional capacity to promote gender-relevant tobacco control efforts among Brazilian women through community-based participatory research and training. The goals of the "Network" are to reduce tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among Brazilian women, and to develop a cadre of well-trained researchers in tobacco control. These goals will be accomplished based on the principles of Community-Based Participatory Research and the Empowerment Model, and will be guided by a multi-level approach that will address four target levels: individuals, organizational/policy systems, and agents of change. The program will consist of six phases: (a) Network establishment;(b) Capacity building in which partners will train and empower each other to carry forward the network mission;(c) Needs/assets assessment phase in which network partners will assist in the identification of needs and assets regarding tobacco control among women as well as needs in training at the professional and academic levels, and will establish priority areas for intervention;(d) Development of a Community Action Plan (CAP) which will consist of a comprehensive tobacco control intervention targeting women;(e) Implementation of CAP;and (f) Dissemination and sustainability of the network. In synergism with these efforts, we will implement a Career Development and Research Training program in tobacco control targeting academicians, professionals, and students to promote research, which will lead to the development of a cadre of well-trained researchers who will continue to address comprehensive tobacco control strategies at all levels long after the study has ended.
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