Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Issue Areas

Tobacco

Today, tobacco is the only legal substance that, when used as intended, kills 6.3 million people per year. Tobacco is responsible for about one in five deaths annually, and a major contributor to the global pandemic of non-communicable diseases. PHI applies its expertise in the economics of tobacco control to advance policies to reduce smoking and vaping in various countries around the world. We also specialize in evaluating new approaches to prevention and treatment; building capacity by training the next generation of top-notch investigators in tobacco control research; and providing technical assistance to health care providers and institutions, policy makers, health departments, ministries, and community advocates working to reduce rates of smoking. PHI has experience working with private attorneys, government agencies and public health organizations to use litigation settlement funds to improve public health, including tobacco cases.

 

Resources and Tools

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Experts

Dianne Barker

Dianne C. Barker, MHS, serves as a principal investigator on research and evaluation projects administered by the Public Health Institute in Oaklan...

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Programs

Alcohol Research Group

Established in 1959, ARG conducts and disseminates research on the epidemiology of alcohol and other drug consumption and problems, alcohol health ...

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Center for International Tobacco Control

In Asia, the two largest consumers of tobacco are China and Indonesia, together representing 412 million smokers. The Center for International Toba...

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Health Spectrum Program

Using a multi-dimensional emphasis that encompasses geographical, age, gender, socio-economic status, and race and ethnicity categories, the Health...

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Here's How We're Making a Difference

Building the Global Movement for Smoke-Free Environments

PHI has trained physicians, health officials and ministries of health from countries as diverse as Brazil, Egypt and China in the development and implementation of smoke-free policies.

 

Partnering With Youth Journalists to Investigate How e-Cigarettes Are Marketed Towards Young People

Menthol is the most abundant flavor of e-cigarettes sold in Oakland and Bay Area local markets, pharmacies and liquor stores—and the flavors and colors clearly target minors, youth and small children. That's one of the findings from the youth-led Marketing E-Cigarettes Toward Adolescents (M.E.T.A.) project, from PHI's California Adolescent Health Collaborative in partnership with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Through PhotoVoice, a community-based participatory research method, youth journalists explored the topic through their own eyes and their communities, and found opportunities for community education, local advocacy with businesses, and policy ideas for tobacco reduction. 

The youth journalists identified new ways that retail stores and tobacco companies target adolescents, and the findings directly affected local policy advocacy efforts—eventually helping to lead to the passage of a tobacco flavors ban in the City of Oakland. Youth co-researchers also testified at hearings and advocated for flavors bans in San Francisco, Oakland and San Leandro.

Learn more about this project in a video exploring how youth researchers used PhotoVoice to investigate how youth perceive e-cigarettes and their marketing in Oakland.

The Economic Cost of Smoking and Smoking-Related Diseases on Female Farmers

In Tanzania, CITC focused on the effects of tobacco farming on the health and economic autonomy of female farmers. Their research found that: female tobacco farmers put in the same or more labor than men, but were also expected to maintain the household and care for the children; that harmful health impacts of tobacco farming are more serious for women; that few women farmers had any financial decision-making power - men held the titles to the land, decided what to grow, and collected and spent the revenue from their crops; and women felt manipulated by the tobacco companies. 

Read the full research findings here.