Preventing tobacco use and lung cancer, the leading cause of U.S. cancer death

4CNC co-investigator Dr. Kurt Ribisl works with tobacco control partners to research and inform state and federal tobacco control policies. Important North Carolina partners include the NC Department of Health and Human Services Tobacco Control Branch, NC Prevention Partners and 2-1-1

Point Of Sale (POS) mapping research

POS is the dominant channel for tobacco marketing in the US. A greater proportion of cigarette marketing expenditures are spent at the POS than at any other venue. Dr. Ribisl and Dr. Douglas Luke (Washington University CPCRN) study policies that would curb tobacco product sales or advertising near youth-populated locations, such as schools and parks. The tobacco industry argues that banning tobacco ads near schools infringes on the right to advertise in urban areas, which is unconstitutional. Drs. Ribisl and Luke conducted a mapping study that illustrates the proximity of tobacco retailers to schools and parks in St. Louis and New York City. The study may pave the way for states and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement 1000-foot bans on tobacco sales or outdoor advertising near youth-populated areas and reduce youth exposure to tobacco advertising.

Click here to read more about their findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 

Counter Tobacco is an online source for information and campaign materials to counteract POS marketing. Materials on the Counter Tobacco website have been audience-tested and are ready to use in campaigns that engage policy makers, tobacco control advocates, TRU (Tobacco Reality Unfiltered) youth, teachers, school administrators, parents, and other community groups. Counter Tobacco is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Smoking and Health, and the National Cancer Institute.

Partnering with 2-1-1 to create smoke-free homes

2-1-1 is a nationally-designated 3-digit telephone exchange that links callers to health and social services in their communities. In North Carolina, United Way's 2-1-1 program receives more than 100,000 calls annually. Compared to all North Carolina residents, 2-1-1 clients are twice as likely to be uninsured, and 31% are current smokers compared to our statewide smoking rate of 20%. The Smoke-Free Homes Project, which is funded through NCI's State and Community Tobacco Control Research Initiative, collaborates with 2-1-1 as a strong, sustainable partner in reducing smoking rates and exposure to second-hand smoke.

Dr. Michelle Kegler (Emory CPCRN) leads this project, which also includes Dr. Rebecca Williams and Dr. Ribisl at UNC, and researchers at other CPCRN sites and 2-1-1 agencies in Georgia, Missouri, Texas and North Carolina. Together we are developing, testing and disseminating a program to create smoke-free homes. UNC researchers led development of a Smoke-Free Homes Tracking Tool that 2-1-1 line agents use to screen and enroll study participants and administer research surveys. The tracking tool also issues daily prompts that help line agents send individual study participants intervention materials. In earlier studies, this consortium of researchers and service providers developed a protocol whereby 2-1-1 operators showed they could successfully link callers to screening and other telephone-based interventions, including the NC Quitline. You can read more about "The cancer control needs of 2-1-1 callers in Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and Washington" in an article co-authored by Purnell JQ, Kreuter MW, Eddens KS, Ribisl K, et al. JHCPU. 23(2): 752-767.