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Education, Knowledge Generation, and Exchange

Research & Curriculum Development

A key goal for the Society’s global tobacco control team is to increase professional capacity by making tobacco control training and research a greater priority in educational settings of higher learning in low- and middle-income countries.

University of Pretoria

The Society is partnering with the University of Pretoria, South Africa to establish a trans-disciplinary academic training curriculum in tobacco control that will focus on key policy areas such as smoke-free public spaces, tobacco product regulation, tobacco advertising and promotion, and graphic health warning labels. A grant of $245,000 USD was allocated to the University for this two-year project, beginning January 1, 2011.  With the support of ACS, the University will develop this training curriculum as part of an 18-month full-time Masters of Public Health degree in Health Promotion through its School of Health Systems and Public Health.  Students will acquire knowledge and skills in the broader field of public health and will translate that knowledge in the field of tobacco control in their home countries or in the region at large. Support from ACS will also enable a selected number of fully funded fellowship awards to be offered within this program to student applicants from sub-Saharan Africa.  The program will build an on-going relationship with the Africa Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC) to gain a wide perspective of tobacco control efforts and activities across the continent.  Expected project outputs include:

  • a tobacco control training curriculum that could serve as a model for other graduate level programs locally and regionally;
  • a young generation of students with a Master of Public Health degree who are interested in pursuing careers in tobacco control following graduation;
  • an increased number of tobacco control research studies and peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to sub-Saharan Africa.

University of Cape Town

The Society is also collaborating with the University of Cape Town, South Africa (UCT) to increase research expertise and technical knowledge on the economics of tobacco control in sub-Saharan Africa.   A grant of $210,000 USD was allocated to UCT for a two-year project beginning January 1, 2011.  ACS will link the UCT team to ATCC and other African tobacco control initiatives. The International Tobacco Control Research Program of ACS is also providing technical assistance, subject matter expertise, and links to the international tobacco control research community.  The project will incubate a regional center of research excellence in the economics of tobacco control and will mentor young graduate students in sub-Saharan Africa to produce original research on this topic.  Expected project outputs include:

  • a working paper series;
  • the cultivation of the next generation of African researchers in the economics of tobacco control;economic research studies produced by the students using local data that may be used to influence tobacco control policy development in the region;
  • a workshop series on the taxation of tobacco products.

Meetings & Leadership Development

As part of its ongoing efforts to cultivate emerging leaders in ATCC’s 10 countries, the Society is sponsoring the development of the African Tobacco Control Leadership Program through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Institute for Global Tobacco Control. The Society hosted an International Trade and Tobacco Control Workshop for legal and public health experts in 13 African countries and global institutions to discuss the health implications of international trade agreements. Participants learned about economic and legal arguments that seek to undermine public health and developed effective counter-arguments with an emphasis on public health and trade. The Society also organized the African Tobacco Control Situational Analyses Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, attended by more than 100 tobacco control stakeholders from 30 African countries. Outcomes from this work are being used to influence tobacco control policies and program development across sub-Saharan Africa.

Research in Tobacco Control

The Society’s International Tobacco Control Research (ITCR) program conducts studies to support global tobacco control.

The most recently published research articles addressed important issues like the impact of tobacco taxes on global youth tobacco use and on smoking cessation, the evaluation of measures to reduce illicit cigarette trade, and the assessment of the global tobacco control funding dynamic. In addition, ITCR studied the economics of tobacco control in countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic.

In addition to research capacity-building in Africa, ITCR supports research projects in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, and trains tobacco control advocates on tax policy within the European Union.