The globalization of the tobacco epidemic poses significant morbidity and mortality burdens, with the brunt of impact increasingly borne by low-middle income countries. Research partnerships between investigators from high-income countries with well developed tobacco control research programs and their counterparts in low-middle income countries are needed to effectively address this global public health crisis. The Dominican Republic (DR) is a key site that mirrors the trends in Latin America: it is a low-middle income tobacco growing country with significant tobacco use and high levels of secondhand smoke exposure, and it is at a very early stage of tobacco control. The proposed project will assess baseline knowledge, attitudes, exposures, and behaviors regarding tobacco use and secondhand smoke, provide a randomized controlled trial of community-partnered interventions around secondhand smoke and tobacco cessation, and develop and implement a dissemination plan for national and regional impact and translation of methods and results to other underserved groups as appropriate. A multimethod assessment approach will be used, to include qualitative community assessments (RAPs), a series of quantitative surveys (household surveillances, community and smoker cohort surveys, and health care provider surveys), and a biomarker assessment of secondhand smoke exposure. Eight economically disadvantaged communities will be randomized to intervention or control conditions in a lagged treatment design;interventions will be developed and implemented based on the evidence base from other countries and from a current DR trial, and on input from national and local DR workgroups using a community partnered approach. The intervention is hypothesized to decrease tobacco use rates, increase the number of smokefree homes, denormalize smoking, increase awareness of and change attitudes regarding tobacco use and secondhand smoke risks, decrease exposure to secondhand smoke, and increase health care provider intervention in intervention- relative to control communities, with differences by geographic and demographic characteristics to be examined. The project will also engage international, national, and local DR workgroups to maintain communication of findings to key partners, host a national DR tobacco control conference with regional representation, and develop other action steps for local and regional dissemination of findings and evidence based interventions, resources, and infrastructures. Finally, the project will coordinate with the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute for translation of current evidence based approaches and methodologies for implementation in the DR, and to explore whether any methodologies or interventions from the proposed trial in the DR can be translated to underserved groups in the United States. Effectively engaging early stage low-middle income countries in tobacco control research will be critical to reducing tobacco use and the burden of tobacco-caused illnesses globally.

Public Health Relevance

Tobacco use and tobacco-caused illnesses and death are increasing in developing countries globally, so it is critical to study these countries in order to effectively address the tobacco epidemic. The proposed project will test the effectiveness of community- based interventions for secondhand smoke and quitting smoking in eight underserved communities in the Dominican Republic. The project will also partner with communities and national and international groups to determine whether the methods and interventions from this study in the Dominican Republic can also be used to help other countries in the region and underserved groups in the United States.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
Program Officer
Land, Stephanie R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Rochester
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Dentistry
United States
Zip Code
Ossip, Deborah J; Diaz, Sergio; Quiñones, Zahira et al. (2016) Lessons Learned from Twelve Years of Partnered Tobacco Cessation Research in the Dominican Republic. J Smok Cessat 11:99-107
Ossip, Deborah J; Quiñones, Zahíra; Diaz, Sergio et al. (2016) Tobacco Cessation in Economically Disadvantaged Dominican Republic Communities: Who are the Ex-Users? J Smok Cessat 11:239-249
Lerner, Chad A; Sundar, Isaac K; Watson, Richard M et al. (2015) Environmental health hazards of e-cigarettes and their components: Oxidants and copper in e-cigarette aerosols. Environ Pollut 198:100-7
Lerner, Chad A; Sundar, Isaac K; Yao, Hongwei et al. (2015) Vapors produced by electronic cigarettes and e-juices with flavorings induce toxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammatory response in lung epithelial cells and in mouse lung. PLoS One 10:e0116732
Prucha, Michael G; Fisher, Susan G; McIntosh, Scott et al. (2015) Health care workers' knowledge, attitudes and practices on tobacco use in economically disadvantaged dominican republic communities. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:4060-75
Dozier, Ann M; Diaz, Sergio; Guido, Joseph et al. (2014) Cohort study of smoke-free homes in economically disadvantaged communities in the Dominican Republic. Rev Panam Salud Publica 35:30-7
Torres, Essie T; Guido, Joseph; de Monegro, Zahira Quiñones et al. (2014) Understanding sociodemographic and sociocultural factors that characterize tobacco use and cessation during pregnancy among women in the Dominican Republic. Matern Child Health J 18:2275-83
Ossip, Deborah J (2013) The global tobacco epidemic: public health crisis and public health opportunity. Asia Pac J Public Health 25:4S-6S
Torres, Essie; Quiñones de Monegro, Zahira; French, Lucia et al. (2011) Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke among pregnant women in the Dominican Republic: an exploratory look into attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and practices. Nicotine Tob Res 13:1220-7
Lando, Harry A; Hipple, Bethany J; Muramoto, Myra et al. (2010) Tobacco Control and Children: An International Perspective. Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol 23:99-103