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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU, UNC, Stanford: New Action Needed In States Where Tobacco Control Has Stalled

Geographic disparities in cancer mortality are driven by differences in state policies and funding for tobacco control, according to investigators from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of North Carolina and Stanford University.


[Photo: Dr. Douglas A. Luke]

Recent research has compared state policies to cancer mortality in states with the highest and lowest mortality rates.  States with higher mortality rates have lower cigarette taxes, weaker smoke-free policies and more modest tobacco-control spending. Investigators fear the disparities could get worse because tobacco-control efforts have stalled in many states.


[Photo: Dr. Kurt M. Ribisi]

The commentary was published Oct. 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors were Dr. Douglas A. Luke of the Brown School, Dr. Kurt M. Ribisi of UNC, and Dr. Lisa Henriksen, of Stanford, who led a five-year study of state and local tobacco-control policies around the U.S. under a grant from the National Cancer Institute.


[Photo: Dr. Lisa Henriksen]

Their suggested solutions include:

“More than ever, evidence-based policy changes are needed to ‘unstick’ stalled states and to eliminate disparities in smoking prevalence and the burdens of tobacco-related disease and mortality,” the authors conclude.

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