To provide policy solutions to problems, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has developed a unique set of research programs whose strength is to provide the evidence for solutions that will stick long after the Foundation’s programming ends. In some cases, the Foundation has fortified the research by funding communications and advocacy efforts to promote policy changes.
The best example comes from the Foundation’s work on tobacco. The Substance Abuse Policy Research Program and its predecessor, the Tobacco Policy Research and Evaluation Program, developed evidence of effective policy interventions, including tobacco taxes, public funding of cessation efforts, and clean indoor air laws.
In this chapter of the Anthology, leaders of the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program look back at the program, which ended in 2009, and reflect on how the program operated and on what its policy research on tobacco, alcohol, and drugs accomplished.