Helping Lawmakers Reach Informed Decisions on Tobacco Bills

Planning for a tobacco control analysis project

In 1998 and 1999, the Advocacy Institute, Washington, planned, wrote and distributed 15 reports providing a nonpartisan analysis of issues relevant to five tobacco control proposals that came before the U.S. Senate during the 105th Congress.

Reports were distributed to tobacco control advocates nationwide, members of Congress, executive branch officials and the media. The reports were part of the Health Science Analysis Project, an initiative of the institute, a Washington organization that works to support advocates of social justice issues.

Key Results

  • Most of the reports identified criteria for assessing key tobacco control issues and strategies and evaluated legislative proposals then before Congress against those criteria.

    • The reports did not endorse any legislative proposals, but were intended as comparative analyses based on available research findings. In an attempt to achieve balance in the series' presentations, several reports contained commentaries by experts with opposing views, who critiqued the research evidence presented.
  • According to the Advocacy Institute, tobacco control advocates on the state and national levels used the series of reports in their own work.

  • The Advocacy Institute provided technical advice and information, on a request basis, to state agencies and to tobacco control advocates in states that were examining potential new regulation of tobacco products.

Following the defeat of comprehensive tobacco control legislation in the Senate in mid-summer 1998, project staff used project results to supply technical advice and information to several state agencies and to tobacco control advocates in states that were examining the potential new regulation of tobacco products.