U.S. Announces First Grants for International Tobacco Research
A coalition of U.S. and international health agencies is announcing a
more than $20 million dollar program to support tobacco research and
smoking prevention programs in the developing world.
A September 25 press release from the Fogarty International Center of
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says 14 grants supporting
multi-national research partnership programs will help combat the rise
of tobacco-caused disease and death. The World Health Organization
says that tobacco use is the primary cause of preventable death and
disability around the world, leading to 4 million deaths per year.
"This new NIH program supports critically needed research and training
to identify ways to prevent or reduce smoking rates worldwide,
especially in the developing world," said U.S. Health and Human
Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.
Some examples of the programs funded include:
-- A collaboration between the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in the
United States and the Medical Research Council of South Africa to
study tobacco use in South African adolescents;
-- A partnership between the University of Maryland School of Medicine
and the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population to create a smoking
prevention research institute in Egypt;
-- A joint project between the University of California, San Francisco
and the University of Jujuy in Argentina to advance understanding of
smoking behavior in adolescents.
The Fogarty International Center (FIC) is a component of NIH,
promoting international scientific discovery and the reduction of
disparities in global health.
Following is the text of the Fogarty Center/NIH press release:
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
Fogarty International Center For Advanced Study in the Health Sciences
Wednesday, September 25,
Fogarty International Center Announces First Awards for International
Tobacco and Health Research and Capacity Building Program
Bethesda, Maryland â€” The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and eight partners announce 14 new
research and training grants to combat the growing incidence of
tobacco-caused illnesses and death in the developing world. FIC led
the development of the International Tobacco and Health Research and
Capacity Building Program in close collaboration with five NIH
institutes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the World Health
Organizationâ€™s Tobacco Free Initiative (WHO-TFI). In addition to FIC,
the five NIH partners are the National Cancer Institute (NCI); the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); and the National Institute of Nursing
Research (NINR). The combined financial commitment from FIC, its NIH
partners, and the CDC is approximately $3.8 million for the first year
of these five-year awards. Total support will be approximately $20.5
million over the next five years.
"Smoking represents one of the greatest challenges to health, both in
the United States and worldwide," said Health and Human Services
Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "This new NIH program supports critically
needed research and training to identify ways to prevent or reduce
smoking rates worldwide, especially in the developing world."
According to WHO, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable
death and disability in adults globally. More than 1 billion people â€”
about one-third of the worldâ€™s adult population â€” smoke, making
tobacco use one of the greatest global health threats. Each year
approximately 4 million people worldwide die from diseases caused by
tobacco use. If current smoking patterns persist, the number of deaths
caused by tobacco use is expected to reach 10 million annually by the
year 2025, surpassing the death toll from AIDS, tuberculosis,
automobile accidents, homicide, suicide, and childbirth combined.
Seventy percent of this increase will occur in the developing world,
where health care systems are insufficient to address current needs
and will be strained to the brink by tobacco-caused illnesses.
"We are launching this program to provide support for the development
of scientific data necessary for decision-making about tobacco
issues," said FIC Director Gerald T. Keusch, M.D. on behalf of the
partners. "As developing countries grapple with the enormous toll that
tobacco will take on families and communities, and as they establish
tobacco-control programs, it is essential that they have access to the
best data. Our consultation with scientists from the developing world
was crucial in helping us understand where the needs are most
"We are delighted to see the range of approaches and the depth of
expertise in these applications," said NCI Director Andrew C. von
Eschenbach, M.D. "We expect that this new global tobacco research
effort will yield results that will help us address prevention and
intervention at home as well as globally."
The goals of the International Tobacco and Health Research and
Capacity Building Program are to reduce the burden of tobacco
consumption in low- and middle-income nations by conducting
observational, interventional, and policy research of local relevance
and to build capacity in epidemiological and behavioral research,
prevention, treatment, communications, health services, and policy
research. The knowledge and interventions developed abroad through
this innovative research and training program will benefit the United
States by building greater understanding of the many socio-cultural
issues related to tobacco, such as why young people begin smoking.
In making these awards, FIC and its partners will establish a global
network of researchers who will develop research data; train the next
generation of tobacco-control scientists; and share state-of-the-art
findings with each other about best practices, opportunities, and
obstacles in tobacco-control research.
The successful applicants for the first International Tobacco and
Health Research and Capacity Building Program awards:
Dr. David Brook of Mount Sinai School of Medicine will work with
collaborators from the Medical Research Council of South Africa to
study disease-related determinants of changes in tobacco use in South
African adolescents. The study is unique in its longitudinal design,
with in-depth interpersonal, cultural, and behavioral data available
about South African youth. It intends to strengthen research in this
area in both the United States and Africa.
Dr. Linda Ferry, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, will
work with collaborators from the National Center for Health Promotion,
Cambodia; Centre of Information and Education for Health, Lao PDR; and
the Adventist Development Relief Agency in Cambodia and Lao PDR. The
team will conduct a transdisciplinary, competency-based Global Tobacco
Control Methods certificate program to develop tobacco-control
leadership skills in health professionals. Research will monitor
tobacco-use prevalence and attitudes toward prevention counseling,
estimate prevalence of tobacco use, and assist health professionals in
designing a 5-year national research plan.
Dr. The-wei Hu of the University of California, Berkeley, together
with collaborators from The World Bank, the Chinese Ministry of
Health, Sichuan University, and Fudan University, will build research
capacity in China in the economics of tobacco control. Studies will
examine the impact of an additional tobacco tax, economic costs of
smoking, and cost-effectiveness of tobacco-control interventions.
These results will inform policymakers in Chinaâ€™s provincial and
Dr. Ebenezer Israel, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and
colleagues in Cairo and Baltimore will work with collaborators from
the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and Georgetown
University to create a new smoking prevention research institute in
Egypt to establish research and capacity building projects to reduce
Dr. Prabhat Jha, University of Toronto, will collaborate with
colleagues from three institutes in India â€” Epidemiological Research
Center, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, and
Institute of Health Sciences. The project will expand Indiaâ€™s Sample
Registration System, the primary system for collection of Indian
mortality data, to obtain reliable estimates of mortality from tobacco
smoking and chewing by age, gender, and socioeconomic group. The
project will also build capacity within Indiaâ€™s surveillance system to
monitor the growing tobacco epidemic, evaluate the effectiveness of
control policies, and provide reliable data to policymakers.
Dr. Gary King and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University will
collaborate with three universities in Africa â€” Cape Town University
in South Africa, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, and
University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania â€” to investigate tobacco
control among youths. Two Centers of Excellence will be established in
Africa, regional networks of researchers will be formed, fellowships
will be established, and exchanges between Centers of Excellence will
be fostered for research on tobacco use among youths.
Dr. Harry Lando and colleagues at the University of Minnesota will
lead a collaborative effort with the University of Arizona, the
University of Missouri, Acutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences in
India, and the Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia to build tobacco
research capacity and promote smoking cessation in India and
Dr. Deborah Ossip-Klein, University of Rochester, will work with
collaborators from the Dominican Republic to increase tobacco
awareness and cessation activities in the Dominican Republic through
the existing Little Intelligent Communities (LINCOS) units that offer
wireless Internet access to state-of-the-art health education,
agricultural science, and global economic information.
Dr. Eliseo Perez-Stable of the University of California, San
Francisco, will work with collaborators from the University of Jujuy
in Argentina to further knowledge of smoking behavior of adolescents.
The study will include a longitudinal school-based survey among high
school youth of two ethnic groups (Kolla and European descent) in the
province of Jujuy to assess the prevalence of smoking behavior, as
well as the predisposing, reinforcing, and facilitating factors
associated with smoking acquisition within this population.
Dr. Cheryl Perry and colleagues at the University of Minnesota will
work with collaborators in India to conduct a randomized,
multi-component, community intervention trial in four cities and 56
schools in India focused on preventing the onset and reducing the
prevalence of tobacco use among adolescents in grades 6 to 9. They
will use an intervention system called Project HRIDAY that involves
classroom-based behavioral curricula, parental education, media
advocacy, peer leadership, and community linkage programs.
Dr. Richard Peto of the Clinical Trial Service Unit in Oxford, United
Kingdom, will collaborate with colleagues at the Russian Academy of
Medical Sciences in Russia. The project will study death rates among
approximately two million people in six large study populations in
Russia. The goal is to determine to what extent tobacco is causing
deaths from particular diseases and to ensure that data from these
studies is available to inform future public health strategies and
other research strategies.
Dr. Ken Resnicow and colleagues at Emory University, the Medical
Research Council of South Africa, the University of Natal, and the
University of Cape Town will conduct a randomized trial comparing the
effectiveness of two approaches to tobacco-use prevention in a
multiethnic sample of South African youth in grades 5 to 7. One of the
interventions will be based on a social skills/peer resistance model,
the other on a Harm Minimization model. The team will also conduct a
comprehensive capacity-building initiative to enhance knowledge of
tobacco control among South African educators, clinicians,
researchers, and policymakers.
Dr. Jonathon Samet and colleagues at The Johns Hopkins University will
collaborate with partners conducting tobacco-control research and
training programs at the Chinese Academy of Medicine, the National
Cancer Institute of Brazil, and the National Institute for Public
Health in Mexico. These programs will focus on an intervention in
China to reduce women and childrenâ€™s environmental tobacco smoke
exposure at home; a survey on determinants of youth smoking in Brazil;
and a study of smoking-attributable deaths and diseases and the
associated costs of smoking-related diseases in Mexico.
Dr. Kenneth Ward and colleagues at the University of Memphis will work
with Virginia Commonwealth University and Aleppo School of Medicine in
Syria to establish a center for the study, treatment, and prevention
of tobacco use in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The Syrian Center
for Tobacco Studies will serve as a resource for tobacco-control
efforts, including epidemiological study, clinical research, and
prevention and cessation intervention development, and as a focal
point for dissemination of information about tobacco-control efforts
in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
FIC is the international component of the NIH. It promotes and
supports scientific discovery internationally and mobilizes resources
to reduce disparities in global health. FIC will commemorate its
thirty-fifth anniversary in 2003 with a year-long lecture series on
global health issues and a scientific symposium on May 20-21, 2003.
NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Press releases, fact sheets, and other FIC-related materials are
available at www.nih.gov/fic.