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Hana Ross, PhD
Managing Director, International Tobacco Control Research

American Cancer Society
250 Williams Street, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30329-4251
Phone: 404-329-7990
Fax: 404-329-7990
Email: hana.ross@cancer.org

Hana Ross earned her BA and MA at the Prague School of Economics. In 2000, she received her PhD in Health Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has over nine years experience in conducting research on the economics of tobacco control and in management of research projects in low and middle income countries, including projects funded by the World Bank, WHO, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the European Commission, and the Bloomberg Global Initiative. Results of her research have been published in economics and public health journals and presented at numerous professional conferences in the US and abroad. She is the Deputy Director of the International Tobacco Evidence Network (ITEN) and also serves as a technical advisor to the South East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. Dr. Ross joined the American Cancer Society’s Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research in 2006. Her current research projects focus on the economic impact of tobacco control interventions in South East Asia, in former Soviet Republics, in the Eastern and Central Europe, and on gathering economic data for tobacco control in Africa. She is involved in several research capacity building projects.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the economic aspects of tobacco control such as impact of various tobacco control policies, costs related to smoking behavior, cost-effectiveness of tobacco control interventions, and the response of tobacco industry to those interventions. The majority of this research involves data from low and middle-income countries.

Global Economic Cost of Cancer
The American Cancer Society and LIVESTRONG have joined together to release a first-of-its-kind study on the economic cost of all causes of death globally, including cancer and other noncommunicable and communicable diseases. Cancer is the world's leading cause of death, followed by heart disease and stroke. This report, authored by ITCR researchers, shows that cancer also has the greatest economic impact from premature death and disability of all causes of death worldwide. The data from this study provides compelling new evidence that balancing the world's global health agenda to address cancer will not only save millions of lives, but also billions of dollars. The highlights of the report have been delivered during a dinner jointly hosted by the American Cancer Society and LIVESTRONG at the 2010 UICC World Cancer Congress in Shenzhen, China.

Economics of Tobacco Taxation in Russia and Ukraine
Cigarette smoking and other tobacco usages impose a large and growing public health burden, currently accounting globally for about 5 million deaths per year. About half of the deaths caused by tobacco occur in low and middle-income countries.  Given these trends, tobacco use will cause approximately 10 million deaths per year by 2030, with an increasing share of the public health burden from tobacco falling on low and middle-income countries.  Given this, the Bloomberg Global Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use is engaged in an integrated set of efforts to reduce tobacco use by: increasing tobacco taxes and prices (and curbing smuggling); changing the image of tobacco use by banning advertising and promotion of tobacco products and supporting counter advertising and other public education efforts; implementing and strengthening policies to protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke; encouraging other evidence-based policy interventions; and supporting cessation efforts by tobacco users. In order to achieve these goals, country-level evidence on the economic impact of tobacco control policies and reductions in tobacco use will be critical, particularly for increases in tobacco taxes. This project has taken the initial step of providing this evidence by developing country-specific reports on the economics of tobacco taxation for two of the Initiative’s priority countries:  Russia and Ukraine.  

The Political Economy of Tobacco Control in Southeast Asia
This regional research and capacity building program focuses on the political economy of tobacco in Southeast Asia and explores the interrelationships between political processes and economic variables that influence the course of tobacco control policy. From taxes to trade of tobacco, these issues are inherently challenging—transdisciplinary in nature, often regional in scope and implications, and not bounded by only health concerns in the larger context of development. It enables those in the region to respond more effectively to the challenge of tobacco use for the long term and on their own terms.

This program represents a unique partnership that builds upon the legacy of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Trading Tobacco for Health initiative, leverages the policy reach of the Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) regional network, and builds synergy with the Program. The project focuses primarily on seven countries in that region:  Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Tobacco Atlas

ACS in collaboration with Georgia State University and the World Lung Foundation released the 3rd edition of the Tobacco Atlas in March 2009 during the 14th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health held in Mumbai, India.  

The Tobacco Atlas explores how tobacco is not just a health issue, but involves economics, big business, politics, trade, litigation, deceit and crimes such as smuggling. It maps the history, current situation and projects the future of the tobacco epidemic as well as tobacco control environment. It includes full-color world maps and graphics, revealing similarities and differences between countries, on the history of tobacco, different types of tobacco use, prevalence and consumption, youth smoking, the economics of tobacco, farming and manufacturing, smuggling, the tobacco industry, promotion, profits, trade, smokers' rights, legislative action such as smoke-free areas, bans on tobacco advertising, health warnings, quitting, the effect of price and taxation, litigation and the future of the epidemic.

The primary goal of the project is to provide a comprehensive guide to all major aspects of the tobacco epidemic and what has been done so far to address it. It is intended for anyone concerned with personal or political health, governance, politics, economics, big business, corporate behavior, smuggling, tax, religion, internet, allocation of resources, human development and the future. It aims to be useful for U.N. agencies, governments and policy makers, health officials, the media, researchers, universities, schools, and the general public.

Tobacco Control Funding Database

Despite the magnitude of the global tobacco epidemic, funding for tobacco control worldwide is inadequate. Coordination of global tobacco control efforts is crucial to ensure that scarce resources are used to best advantage and to avoid duplication of effort. Taking a step forward in the ongoing process of coordinating global tobacco control activities, International Tobacco Control Research Program is overseeing the International Tobacco Control Funders database. The objective of this database is to update the existing information of tobacco control funding in low- and middle-income countries, to expand and maintain the database so that it provides relevant and current information, and to conduct analyses of the data to enhance the quality of information provided to the funding agencies and other tobacco control stakeholders. The database was conceived as a resource of information for international tobacco control funders regarding the type of projects funded in low- and middle-income countries, at what level they are being funded, in which geographical area, and the beneficiary of the funding. The data consisted of types of grants awarded, grant dates, award amount, country receiving the funding, and type of project. Such information is helpful for coordinating funding initiatives in individual countries and for assessing the sustainability of tobacco control funding in different parts of the world.

Service and Other contributions

Dr. Ross has reviewed manuscripts for public health and economic journals, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among others. She organizes seminars and teaches economics of tobacco control at regional workshops. Dr. Ross is also a mentor and a leader of several international research projects. She is a member of the adjunct faculty at the Georgia State University and at the Emory University and provides internship opportunities in her Program for students from both institutions.