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Communicating Program Outcomes to Encourage Policymaker Support for Evidence-Based State Tobacco Control

Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program, Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 590 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12562-12574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212562
Received: 23 September 2014 / Revised: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., can be reduced through state-level tobacco prevention and cessation programs. In the absence of research about how to communicate the need for these programs to policymakers, this qualitative study aimed to understand the motivations and priorities of policymakers in North Carolina, a state that enacted a strong tobacco control program from 2003–2011, but drastically reduced funding in recent years. Six former legislators (three Democrats, three Republicans) and three lobbyists for health organizations were interviewed about their attitudes towards tobacco use, support of state-funded programs, and reactions to two policy briefs. Five themes emerged: (1) high awareness of tobacco-related health concerns but limited awareness of program impacts and funding, (2) the primacy of economic concerns in making policy decisions, (3) ideological differences in views of the state’s role in tobacco control, (4) the impact of lobbyist and constituent in-person appeals, and (5) the utility of concise, contextualized data. These findings suggest that building relationships with policymakers to communicate ongoing program outcomes, emphasizing economic data, and developing a constituent advocacy group would be valuable to encourage continued support of state tobacco control programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: tobacco smoking; tobacco control policies; communication; public health tobacco smoking; tobacco control policies; communication; public health
MDPI and ACS Style

Schmidt, A.M.; Ranney, L.M.; Goldstein, A.O. Communicating Program Outcomes to Encourage Policymaker Support for Evidence-Based State Tobacco Control. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12562-12574.

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