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Policy for controlling tobacco.

Warner, K. E., Issacs, S. L., & Knickman, J. R. (Eds.) (2006). Tobacco control policy. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [Paperback; ISBN-978-0-7879-8745-9; $ 65.00]

The harmful effects of tobacco are well established. Tobacco use is responsible for about 430,000 deaths among adults in the United States (United States Department of Health & Human Services [USDHHS], 2001). Various policy measures have helped in reducing the burden of diseases resulting from tobacco use. This book is a part of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Series that deals specifically with tobacco control policy research.

The book is organized into eight sections with 26 chapters. The first section is entitled, "A review of the field" and has one chapter devoted to an overview of tobacco policy research written by Editor Kenneth Warner. The chapter discusses the health consequences of tobacco, early tobacco control policies, and relationship between tobacco policy research and policy practice. It presents a classification of tobacco policies as those geared toward education, those involving economic incentives, and those that enforce direct restraints on product use, manufacture, or sale.

The second section of the book is about taxation and pricing and includes reprint of five articles. The first article is about effects of government regulation on teenage smoking originally published in 1981. It discusses the impact of the Fairness Doctrine which included antismoking messages on radio and television and advertising ban policies on cigarette smoking by teenagers. The second article is about smoking and health implications of a change in the federal cigarette tax published in 1986. This article is credited with influencing some members of Congress to vote against decreasing tax against tobacco and also contributed to establishing taxation as a key strategy for tobacco control all over the world. The third article tests the model of rational addiction (which purports that past consumption of some goods reinforces their current consumption) by examining cigarette consumption to change in cigarette prices. It was originally published in 1994. The fourth article also discusses whether addiction is rational. It was originally published in 2001. The article presents a useful framework for testing the rational addiction model. The fifth article has been published in 2004 and analyzes the role of body weight, body image, and price in influencing adolescent smoking initiation. The article uses data from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997. The article found that females who had a high body mass index, who report that they are trying to lose weight, and who describe themselves as overweight are more likely to initiate smoking than other females. Cigarette pricing was found to have no role in smoking initiation for females but was a strong determinant for males.

The third section of the book is about clean indoor air laws and includes reprints of four articles. The first article is about the effect of ordinances requiring smoke-free restaurants on restaurant sales. The article published in 1994 found that prohibiting smoking in restaurants does not damage restaurants' revenues. The second article explores whether workplace smoking bans reduce smoking and confirms that indeed that is the case. It was originally published in 1999. The third article examines the association between household and workplace smoking restrictions and adolescent smoking and concludes that such bans indeed reduce smoking in adolescents. This article was published in 2000. The final article in this section reviews the effect of smoke-free workplaces on smoking behavior. It was originally published in 2002.

The fourth section of the book is about advertising, advertisement bans, and counter-advertising and also consists of reprints of five articles. The first article is from 1972 and discusses the impact of anti smoking advertisements on smoking behavior. The second article is from 1991 and explores whether tobacco advertising targets young people to start smoking. The study concluded that tobacco advertising, especially of Camel cigarettes has effectively targeted adolescents. The third article is from 1992 and demonstrates that magazines accepting cigarette advertisements were less likely to discuss negative effects of smoking when compared to those that did not have such advertisements. The fourth article from 1995 compares the role of increasing taxes with antismoking media campaign on cigarette consumption in California. It was found that both policies decreased smoking but increasing taxes was more effective. The final article from 2000 discusses the effect of tobacco advertisement bans on tobacco consumption. The article provides evidence in support of banning tobacco.

The fifth section of the book is about possession, use, and purchase laws and sales to minors and consists of two reprinted articles. The first article published in 1991 is about Woodridge community in Chicago where a police officer enforced sales to minor laws and it led to decline in cigarette consumption among minors. The second article published in 1997 is about the effect of enforcing tobacco sales laws on youth access to tobacco and smoking behavior and found that moderate efforts for reducing illegal sales had no effect on smoking rates in youth.

The sixth section of the book is about cessation policies and includes reprints of four articles. The first article published in 1998 is about use and cost effectiveness of smoking cessation services under four insurance plans in a health maintenance organization. The second article published in 2002 is about the benefits of switching smoking cessation drugs to over the counter status. The third article published in 2002 is about assessing the effectiveness on smokers of a real-world telephone quit line. The last article in this section is about nicotine replacement therapies. It has been published in 2003.

The penultimate section of the book is entitled, "comprehensive state laws" and has four reprints. The first article is published in 1998 and looks at the effects of California Tobacco Control Program on smoking. The second article is published in 2000 and looks at the effects of Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program on smoking. The third article also published in 2000 explores the association of the California Tobacco Control Program with declines in cigarette consumption and mortality from heart disease. The final article in this section has been published in 2003 and examines the impact of tobacco control programs across all states on cigarette sales during the period 1981-2000.

The last section of the book discusses the role of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and consists of one chapter which has been reprinted from, "To Improve Health and Health Care: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Anthology Series." This was originally published in 2005.

The book is a logical compilation of several articles related to tobacco policy. It would have been nice to include some original writings in this monograph but even in the absence of such writings the book serves an important purpose. It should serve as a .good reading for all those involved in making tobacco-related policies. It can also be used for teaching graduate students. Overall, this book is an important contribution in the field of substance abuse policy.


United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Healthy People 2010.

Washington, DC: US Government Printing office.

Review by Manoj Sharma, University of Cincinnati
COPYRIGHT 2007 American Alcohol & Drug Information Foundation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:Sharma, Manoj
Publication:Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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