Roswell Park Awarded $11.5M Grant to Compare Tobacco Policies in Different Countries

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Study will focus on high versus low-income countries

BUFFALO, NY - Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded an $11.5M grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for a five-year study to examine how tobacco control policies differ in effectiveness across countries with varying income levels and cultures. Lead investigator for the prestigious program project (P01) grant is K. Michael Cummings, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park and an internationally recognized leader in tobacco control.

“This research project will compare the effectiveness of tobacco control policies implemented in 20 different countries around the globe in hopes of identifying those policies and combination of policies that work most effectively to reduce tobacco consumption. The goal of the research is to develop a sound scientific evidence base for tobacco control, so that governments can implement the most effective policies to rapidly reduce tobacco use in their country,” said Dr. Cummings. “Tobacco use is actually increasing in many parts of the world, especially in low income countries so this work is especially pertinent today since we know that smoking is responsible for one out of three cancers,” noted Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President & CEO, Roswell Park. “Roswell Park welcomes the opportunity to spearhead this significant international research project that brings together scientists from around the globe to work on this significant public health problem.”

The research builds upon the work started by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Consortium (ITC Project), which Roswell Park helped establish in 2002 in an effort to evaluate the impact of tobacco control policies created by the World Health Organization's first-ever treaty focusing on public health: The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Socio-economic status (SES) is a strong predictor of tobacco use. The current Roswell Park study will assess the impact of specific methods of tobacco control policies on tobacco use behaviors. Among other things the study will examine whether SES influences psychosocial mediators of tobacco use in the same way in all the countries participating in the consortium. The project's ultimate goal is to inform governments about the need to tailor policy interventions to achieve maximum effectiveness. This is the only scientific study to date which will systemically evaluate the impact of the FCTC treaty.

The treaty established specific tobacco control policies that countries who signed the treaty must implement, including more prominent warning labels, bans or restrictions on advertising/promotion, higher taxation and protection from exposure to tobacco smoke pollution. Countries participating in the study include Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Scotland, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.

Other study investigators are Geoffrey Fong, PhD, David Hammond, PhD, and Mary Thompson, PhD, from University of Waterloo, Canada; and Richard O'Connor, PhD, Roswell Park.

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit Roswell Park's website at, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email


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Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager