Taking on Tobacco

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Assault on Smoking

In this chapter, the author chronicles the entire array of Foundation programs, from the early 1990s to the present day, aimed at reducing smoking in the United States. Though the Foundation began its efforts in this field with very little experience, a clearly discernible strategy evolved over the years. The grants fell into four main areas: policy research; state-based advocacy and coalition building; a national communications and strategy center; and smoking cessation and treatment programs. The author examines the ins and outs of specific programs, such as, Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care, SmokeLess States®: National Tobacco Policy Initiative and the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids®. This chapter offers particular insight into how a foundation can work in an area where there is organized and powerful opposition. The tobacco industry did not welcome the Foundation's efforts to reduce smoking and raised several legal challenges. In conclusion, the author discusses how the field can continue to develop with the Foundation now turning its focus away from smoking and towards childhood obesity.