Events in Review

Congratulations to all our graduates!

Tobacco Control Conference: A Tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy
On June 22, 2011, the CGTC convened a major conference at HSPH entitled the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act: Regulatory Science and the Tobacco Industry. The conference’s goal was to review the progress made in implementing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) passed two years ago and the future prospects of the law to reduce tobacco use in America. The conference brought together national experts to assess what has been accomplished thus far and, more importantly, how academic and community-based entities can better dialogue and advise the FDA on achieving Senator Kennedy’s vision, the chief sponsor of the Law. This conference represents the first comprehensive scientific meeting on the Law since its passage and will help translate research conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, other academic institutions and communities across America into meaningful FDA policy.
HSPH Professor Gregory Connolly helped to pass landmark tobacco control legislation in Israel. At the invitation of colleague, friend, and HSPH alumna, Dr. Leah Rosen, Professor Gregory Connolly traveled to Israel in May to assist the country at a turning point in its efforts to address tobacco control. During the visit, he had the opportunity to brief members of the Knesset, the Israel Parliament, on critical components to include in tobacco control legislation which ensures full compliance with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) international guidelines. As a result, the Knesset passed into law one of the strongest tobacco control pieces of legislation in the world. It is a model to replicate in other regions.

Viswanath Lab Partners with Lawrence Schools to Field Unique Survey on Health Disparities. Dr. Vish Viswanath has partnered with Lawrence High School and Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence, Massachusetts to offer part-time summer jobs to 16 students interested in pursuing a career in health and research. The students have been assisting the Viswanath Lab with Project IMPACT, (Influencing Media and Public Agenda on Cancer and Tobacco Disparities), a community-based participatory research project, which aims to build capacity of community-based organizations in Lawrence to work with the local media, with an overall goal of changing the way that the media covers issues of health inequities. Since the beginning of August, the students, who received basic research skills training, including survey administration, have been conducting door-to-door surveys throughout the city of Lawrence. The survey results will help to inform the intervention development, which includes a media training program for community-based organizations and a toolkit for journalists. The purpose of Project IMPACT is to develop and test a community mobilization model that aims to (a) alter the information environment in the community about health disparities in general and tobacco disparities in particular; (b) build community capacity to work with local media to influence the public agenda through the media training of members of CBOs; and (c) assess whether the intervention has led to change in community agenda on disparities. Co-Investigators include Dr. David Williams, Glorian Sorensen and Ichiro Kawachi of SHDH. Project IMPACT is part of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Lung Cancer Disparities Center. For more information about Dr. Viswanath’s research, visit www.viswanathlab.org.