National Tobacco Control Technical Assistance Consortium

Dates of Program: January 2001 to March 2008

Field of Work: Tobacco Control

Problem Synopsis: In the mid 1990s, four states—Mississippi, Minnesota, West Virginia and Florida—filed lawsuits in their state courts against the tobacco industry, seeking reimbursement for health care expenditures for treating tobacco-related illness. Some 41 other states and two local jurisdictions eventually followed their lead, filing their own lawsuits in state courts. In 1998, the attorneys general of 46 states signed a Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with the four largest tobacco companies in the United States to settle most state suits. The infusion of resources from the MSA created an unprecedented opportunity for tobacco prevention and control.

Synopsis of the Work: The National Tobacco Control Technical Assistance Consortium (later shortened to Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium or TTAC) was a one-stop clearinghouse to connect tobacco-control advocates in this country at the state and local level with high-quality and timely technical assistance. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Legacy Foundation and the American Cancer Society jointly funded TTAC.

Key Results

  • Staff and/or consultants of the TTAC program:

    • Responded to some 400 requests for technical assistance, including 44 percent from groups representing priority populations (groups on whom tobacco has a relatively more severe impact.)
    • Provided on-site consultants to tobacco-control groups.
    • Created and piloted two state training programs to guide state coalitions developing comprehensive tobacco-control programs in their communities.
    • Developed 11 products and tools for use by tobacco-control groups to bolster their effectiveness.
    • Collaborated with the Advocacy Institute to pilot the State Leadership Fellows Program. Some 30 fellows in two states participated in a pilot of the program.
    • Funded seven organizations to provide specific services to enhance the capacity of tobacco-control advocates in this country.
    • Created the TTAC Web site in December 2002. It has had more than 5.5 million hits since its inception.
    • TTAC has continued operations since RWJF funding ended.