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Mission

The mission of the Center for Global Tobacco Control is to reduce the global burden of tobacco-related death and disease through training, research, and the translation of science into public health policies and programs.

Background

Established in July 2010, the Center replaced the former Tobacco Control Research Program in the Division of Public Health Practice. Since 2004, we have brought together a highly-trained research staff to advance a robust agenda of funded research projects in tobacco control. The Center is well-poised to play a critical role to evaluate current tobacco control interventions and develop new interventions for the 21st Century.

Training

The Center is housed within the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). Through SBS, we offer the following educational programs:

  • Formal masters of science degrees (ScM), masters of public health degrees (MPH), and doctoral degrees in public health (ScD/PhD). Students take a full range of courses in public health.
  • Through the Center, we also provide opportunities for practica, internships and paid employment in many research projects.
  • The Center currently offers the following courses.
  • The Center offers post-doctoral fellowship training in tobacco control.

Research

The Center conducts research on a wide range of tobacco control and public health issues. A major theme is the identification of tobacco product characteristics that influence initiation of use, dependence, and disease outcomes. Our research explores how product design and performance characteristics interact with product messaging and marketing to influence consumer appeal, risk perceptions, ease of use, and dependence. We investigate conventional cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and modified risk tobacco products. Our purpose is to contribute to a needed science base for effective tobacco product regulation in the US and abroad. We also maintain an active research program on secondhand smoke with a special focus on children’s health. This research is designed to understand the health implications of exposure to secondhand smoke, health effects, population risks, and ways to reduce exposure.

Knowledge Translation and Global Collaboration

The Center collaborates with local municipalities, US states, federal agencies, and foreign governments to develop, implement, and evaluate tobacco control policies and programs through intensive, joint training, research, and policy and program development. We actively work with the governments to implement the recommendations of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), many of whose measures for public education, clean air policies, taxation, mass media campaigns, and monitoring and surveillance are based on the Massachusetts Program. We bring our practical experience and theoretical knowledge of tobacco control in our work with international partners.

We believe that the tobacco control landscape for the 21st Century is rapidly changing with the adoption of the FCTC, the globalization of the industry, and the regulation of tobacco products. As an academic center, we are committed to providing the evidence-based research needed to prevent an estimated one billion deaths from tobacco use in this century.

We aim to help make smoking history throughout the world.