The SmokeLess States Program

This chapter describes SmokeLess States®: National Tobacco Policy Initiative, one of the largest investments made by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with $99 million authorized in grants since 1992. Primarily, grants were awarded to non-governmental organizations, with the intention that they would educate the public and policy-makers about the tobacco problem. Two features about the program are significant: (1) the Foundation encouraged its grantees to be activists; (2) advocacy was emphasized to bring about policy change. The program relied heavily on three major health voluntary organizations: the American Cancer Society; the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association. They provided financial support and, in particular, funds to help lobbying efforts which the Foundation could not support directly. In addition to insight on the effects of advocacy, this chapter offers a window into the role of coalitions in bringing about social change. The program ended in 2004 and its lasting impact has yet to be determined.

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