Public Health Advocacy Institute

Boston, MA, United States

Public Health Advocacy Institute

Boston, MA, United States

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Winickoff J.P.,American Academy of Pediatrics | Winickoff J.P.,Harvard University | McMillen R.,American Academy of Pediatrics | McMillen R.,Mississippi State University | And 3 more authors.
Tobacco Control | Year: 2016

Objectives The vast majority of tobacco users began before the age of 21. Raising the tobacco sales age to 21 has the potential to reduce tobacco use initiation and progression to regular smoking. Our objective was to assess the level of public support nationally for ‘Tobacco 21’ initiatives in the USA. Methods The Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control, a cross-sectional dual-frame survey representing national probability samples of adults was administered in 2013. Respondents were asked to state their agreement level with, ‘The age to buy tobacco should be raised to 21.’ Results Of 3245 respondents, 70.5% support raising the age to buy tobacco to 21. The majority of adults in every demographic and smoking status category supported raising the tobacco sales age to 21. In multivariable analyses, support was highest among never smokers, females, African-Americans and older adults. Conclusions This national study demonstrates broad public support for raising the sales age of tobacco to 21 and will help facilitate wide dissemination of initiatives to increase the legal purchase age at national, state and local levels. Increasing public awareness about the susceptibility and rapid addiction of youth to nicotine may further increase public support for raising the tobacco sale age to 21. © 2016, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Public Health Advocacy Institute, Ohio State University, Mississippi State University, Harvard University and Aurora University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Tobacco control | Year: 2016

The vast majority of tobacco users began before the age of 21. Raising the tobacco sales age to 21 has the potential to reduce tobacco use initiation and progression to regular smoking. Our objective was to assess the level of public support nationally for Tobacco 21 initiatives in the USA.The Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control, a cross-sectional dual-frame survey representing national probability samples of adults was administered in 2013. Respondents were asked to state their agreement level with, The age to buy tobacco should be raised to 21.Of 3245 respondents, 70.5% support raising the age to buy tobacco to 21. The majority of adults in every demographic and smoking status category supported raising the tobacco sales age to 21. In multivariable analyses, support was highest among never smokers, females, African-Americans and older adults.This national study demonstrates broad public support for raising the sales age of tobacco to 21 and will help facilitate wide dissemination of initiatives to increase the legal purchase age at national, state and local levels. Increasing public awareness about the susceptibility and rapid addiction of youth to nicotine may further increase public support for raising the tobacco sale age to 21.


Nixon L.,Public Health Institute | Nixon L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Mejia P.,Public Health Institute | Dorfman L.,Public Health Institute | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

Zoning and other land-use policies are a promising but controversial strategy to improve community food environments. To understand how these policies are debated, we searched existing databases and the Internet and analyzed news coverage and legal documentation of efforts to restrict fast-food restaurants in 77 US communities in 2001 to 2013. Policies intended to improve community health were most often proposed in urban, racially diverse communities; policies proposed in small towns or majority-White communities aimed to protect community aesthetics or local businesses. Health-focused policies were subject to more criticism than other policies and were generally less successful. Our findings could inform the work of advocates interested in employing land-use policies to improve the food environment in their own communities.


Dorfman L.,Public Health Institute | Cheyne A.,Public Health Institute | Gottlieb M.A.,Public Health Advocacy Institute | Mejia P.,Public Health Institute | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

Tobacco control's unparalleled success comes partly from advocates broadening the focus of responsibility beyond the smoker to include industry and government. To learn how this might apply to other issues, we examined how early tobacco control events were framed in news, legislative testimony, and internal tobacco industry documents. Early debate about tobaccois stunning for its absence of the personal responsibility rhetoric prominent today, focused instead on the health harms from cigarettes. The accountabilityofgovernment, rather than the industry or individual smokers, is mentioned often; solutions focused not on whether government had a responsibility to act, but on how to act. Tobacco lessons can guide advocates fighting the food and beverage industry, but must be reinterpreted in current political contexts.


Nixon L.,Public Health Institute | Mejia P.,Public Health Institute | Cheyne A.,Public Health Institute | Wilking C.,Public Health Advocacy Institute | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

We investigated how industry claim-makers countered concerns about obesity and other nutrition-related diseases in newspaper coverage from 2000, the year before the US Surgeon General's Call to Action on obesity, through 2012. We found that the food and beverage industry evolved in its response. The defense arguments were made by trade associations, industry-funded nonprofit groups, and individual companies representing the packaged food industry, restaurants, and the nonalcoholic beverage industry. Individual companies used the news primarily to promote voluntary self-regulation, whereas trade associations and industry-supported nonprofit groups directly attacked potential government regulations. There was, however, a shift away from framing obesity as a personal issue toward an overall message that the food and beverage industry wants to be "part of the solution" to the public health crisis.


Mejia P.,Public Health Institute | Dorfman L.,Public Health Institute | Cheyne A.,Public Health Institute | Nixon L.,Public Health Institute | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

The tobacco industry consistently frames smoking as a personal issue rather than the responsibility of cigarette companies. To identify when personal responsibility framing became amajor element of the tobacco industry's discourse, we analyzed news coverage from 1966 to 1991. Industry representatives began to regularly use these arguments in 1977. By the mid 1980s, this frame dominated the industry's public arguments. This chronology illustrates that the tobacco industry's use of personal responsibility rhetoric in public preceded the ascension of personal responsibility rhetoric commonly associated with the Reagan Administration in the 1980s.


Cheyne A.,Public Health Institute | Dorfman L.,Public Health Institute | Daynard R.A.,Northeastern University | Mejia P.,Public Health Institute | Gottlieb M.,Public Health Advocacy Institute
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act exempted menthol from a flavoring additive ban, tasking the Tobacco Products Safety Advisory Committee to advise on the scientific evidence on menthol. To inform future tobacco control efforts, we examined the public debate from 2008 to 2011 over the exemption. Health advocates regularly warned of menthol's public health damages, but inconsistently invoked the health disparities borne by African American smokers. Tobacco industry spokespeople insisted that making menthol available put them on the side of African Americans' struggle for justice and enlisted civil rights groups to help them make that case. In future debates, public health must prioritize and invest in the leadership of communities most affected by health harms to ensure a strong, unrelenting voice in support of health equity.


Stoneham M.,Public Health Advocacy Institute | Boss A.,Public Health Advocacy Institute | Daube M.,Public Health Advocacy Institute
Health Promotion Journal of Australia | Year: 2013

Issue addressed This review of injury articles describes how selected primary print media sources in Australia report injury events and explores how this may impact on public perception of the injury risk and the opportunities it may present to health professionals. Methods Media articles specific to injury, compiled by the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia (PHAIWA) through their MediaWatch service during 2011, were collated and analysed. Articles were gathered from The West Australian, The Australian and The Sunday Times newspapers and ABC Online. Each article was categorised into injury topics and target groups, and preventive strategies were identified. Results Of the 546 articles that contained injury as a key word, 424 articles were used for the present study. The majority of articles related to community-based injuries (65%) and the most frequent reported injury was violence and assault. The results also indicate that although there is regular media reporting on injury issues, only one-fifth of reports discuss possible preventive measures. Conclusions Selected Australian newspapers and the ABC Online are important and low-cost sources of injury-related information for the general public and can impact how the public perceives injury. It is important for public health professionals to embrace media advocacy strategies to assist in influencing and setting local public policy. So what? Public attitudes and understanding of issues are influenced by media coverage. Media monitoring is one tool to track what media sources are reporting about public health issues, the industry and stakeholders. Influencing the quantity and quality of media coverage is critical to advancing healthy public policy, particularly when advocating for prevention strategies to be reported and acted upon. Advocacy is an important health promotion strategy; it is therefore important for health professionals to understand media advocacy and position public health issues as societal issues with policy solutions. © 2012 Australian Health Promotion Association.

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