September 2003

Grant Results

SUMMARY

A 2002 Intercultural Cancer Council conference in Washington, the "Eighth Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Underserved and Cancer," included an Anti-Tobacco Day. It addressed tobacco use by minorities, tobacco industry targeting of minority consumers ad efforts to reduce both use and resulting disease among minority populations.

The Intercultural Cancer Council, a nonprofit organization under the auspices of the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, organized the symposium.

The event marked the first time the symposium had highlighted tobacco use and control as an important issue in cancer prevention.

Key Results

  • The Anti-Tobacco Day took place February 9, 2002. (The entire symposium ran from February 6–10, 2002.) The project director estimated that 500 to 1,000 of the 1,200 Symposium participants attended all or part of the Anti-Tobacco Day, which featured four plenary speakers:
    • John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., American Cancer Society, "Tobacco — The Emerging Pandemic: The Ticking Time Bomb."
    • Lyndon Haviland, Dr.P.H., American Legacy Foundation, "New Frontiers for Tobacco Control: Partnering with Priority Populations."
    • Nancy J. Kaufman, R.N., M.S., The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, "Tobacco Industry Advertising and Promotions: Targeting People of Color."
    • Rod Lew, M.P.H., Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership, "Are We Really Making Progress on Tobacco Control in Communities of Color?"

    Six small-group sessions (each offered twice) covered indoor air pollution, tobacco control program evaluation, targeting tobacco research, empowering youth, tobacco industry sponsorships and harm reduction.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the tobacco sessions with a $40,000 grant.

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THE PROBLEM

Minority groups experience higher incidence and greater suffering and death from cancer than their white counterparts, and tobacco use contributes significantly to this disparity, according to the council. Adult smoking among American Indians and Alaska Natives is the highest (40 percent) of the five racial and ethnic groups. African-American adults use tobacco at a higher rate than the national average and have the lowest quit rates.

Additionally, though smoking rates among Hispanics are lower than for whites, Hispanic high school students increased their use of tobacco by one-third from 1991 to 1997.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both the African American and Hispanic communities and in eight of the nine Indian Health Service Areas. To compound the problem, minority communities often have been the target of what tobacco control advocates call "predatory marketing" by the tobacco industry. In San Diego, for example, the highest numbers of tobacco displays are found in Asian American stores. Specially packaged tobacco products have been promoted specifically in African American and Hispanic communities.

The symposium series was launched in 1987 to address the disproportionate incidence of cancer among minorities and the poor in the United States. It typically draws leading scientists, cancer specialists, primary health workers, community-based health educators, survivors, federal and state health workers, public policy-makers and patient advocates to grapple with factors contributing to these health disparities.

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RWJF STRATEGY

RWJF funded the Anti-Tobacco Day to reach an audience that had not previously been tapped to work on tobacco control efforts. In 2000 and 2001, it also provided grants to several minority organizations to increase their capacity to address tobacco control, including the Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention (ID#s 038645 and 040824 — see Grant Results on ID# 038645), the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (ID# 040826) and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (ID# 040827).

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RESULTS

The Intercultural Cancer Council, a nonprofit organization under the auspices of the Baylor College of Medicine, organized the symposium. The Anti-Tobacco Day took place February 9, 2002 in Washington. (The entire symposium ran from February 6–10, 2002.) The project director estimated that 500 to 1,000 of the 1,200 Symposium participants attended all or part of the Anti-Tobacco Day, which featured four plenary speakers:

  • John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., American Cancer Society, "Tobacco — The Emerging Pandemic: The Ticking Time Bomb"
  • Lyndon Haviland, Dr.P.H., American Legacy Foundation, "New Frontiers for Tobacco Control: Partnering with Priority Populations."
  • Nancy J. Kaufman, R.N., M.S., The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, "Tobacco Industry Advertising and Promotions: Targeting People of Color."
  • Rod Lew, M.P.H., Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership, "Are We Really Making Progress on Tobacco Control in Communities of Color?"

Six small-group sessions (each offered twice) covered indoor air pollution, tobacco control program evaluation, targeting tobacco research, empowering youth, tobacco industry sponsorships and harm reduction.

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AFTER THE GRANT

The Intercultural Cancer Council does not plan to hold an Anti-Tobacco Day at its next symposium, in March 2004, but hopes to offer one in 2006. In February 2003, the council surveyed symposium attendees and others in its network on their anti-tobacco activities.

In April 2002, RWJF launched a national program to consolidate its efforts to strengthen tobacco control efforts in minority communities. The program, Policy Advocacy on Tobacco and Health: An Initiative to Build Capacity in Communities of Color, was authorized for up to $3.8 million for 36 months (see Grant Results on the program). The program is supporting minority-led, community-based organizations in building bridges among various tobacco control initiatives.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Tobacco Segment of a Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Underserved, and Cancer

Grantee

Baylor College of Medicine (Houston,  TX)

  • Amount: $ 40,000
    Dates: October 2001 to September 2002
    ID#:  042887

Contact

Armin D. Weinberg, Ph.D.
(713) 798 4614
arminw@bcm.tmc.edu

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Sponsored Conferences

"Anti-Tobacco Day" at the Eighth Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Underserved and Cancer, February 6–10, 2002, Washington. Four general sessions and six concurrent small group discussions.

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Report prepared by: Kelsey Menehan
Reviewed by: Robert Narus
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Michelle Larkin