Created in 2006, the International Tobacco Control Research (ITCR) program conducts original and policy-relevant research with a particular emphasis on the economic aspects of tobacco control. ITCR is uniquely capable of translating complex economic concepts into tools for policy change. We build research capacity in low- and middle-income countries in order to generate local-specific research evidence. We are proud of our extensive collaboration with the top investigators and the top research institutions in this highly-specialized field.
The ITCR program works closely with both internal and external partners. Collaboration with the ACS Global Health department includes a number of areas, but focuses primarily on research and capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa, and on publishing the Tobacco Atlas series.
As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded African Tobacco Control Consortium, the ITCR program manages a supplement to expand research and capacity building on the economics of tobacco control in Sub-Saharan Africa. This effort is being accomplished by collaboration with the University of Cape Town which supports training of graduate students and researchers, and by organizing training workshops for advocates, researchers and government officials on technical issues involving tobacco taxation.
ITCR also supports the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. Dr. Hana Ross [LINK] conducted two studies on tobacco taxation in Russia and Ukraine, and Dr. Evan Blecher [LINK] generated evidence on global cigarette affordability in collaboration with the University of Cape Town in a report. Follow-up research on cigarette affordability was published in Tobacco Control.
Dr. Ross collaborates with the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance and Duke University on a multi-year project to increase research capacity in Southeast Asia and explore the interrelationships between political processes and economic variables that influence tobacco control policies. The project, supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grant, focuses primarily on seven countries in that region: Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
In research projects sponsored by the NIH and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (with funds from the Bloomberg Initiative), Dr. Jeff Drope and a multi-country team are examining the intersection of economic policymaking and tobacco control in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
ITCR is a partner of the Framework Convention Alliance supporting the development of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Illicit Trade Protocol and the FCTC guidelines for taxing tobacco products. An ITCR study estimating the scope of global illicit trade was distributed at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body of the WHO’s FCTC and was featured in the Guardian newspaper in 2009. ITCR researchers co-authored “Effectiveness of tax and price policies in tobacco control”, the IARC Handbook that is instrumental for the input to a working group on developing guidelines for tobacco taxation that was formed by the Conference of Parties to the WHO FCTC.
The Tobacco Atlas
How much is a life worth? In 2010, the tobacco industry's profit was equivalent to $6,000 for each death caused by tobacco. This video [see video embedded in original page] sheds light on the global tobacco burden and devious tactics employed by the tobacco industry to addict new users. Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death in the world. Left unchecked, it is predicted to kill more than 8 million people globally each year by 2030.
The video, developed by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation, highlights data from The Tobacco Atlas, 4th Edition a joint publication by both organizations. The Atlas graphically details the scale of the tobacco epidemic, progress that has been made in tobacco control, and the latest products and tactics being deployed by the highly profitable tobacco industry – such as the use of new media, trade litigation, and aggressive development of smokeless products. Learn more about the publication at TobaccoAtlas.org.