UCSF Tobacco Control Program Gains High Recognition From WHO

June 11, 2003
News Office: Wallace Ravven (415) 502-6397

The World Health Organization has designated UCSF's Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education as a "collaborating center" -- part of its international network supporting WHO health initiatives worldwide. The only other WHO collaborating center in the area of tobacco control in North America is the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"In the face of tobacco industry intimidation, UCSF has shown courage, innovation and leadership in documenting and publicizing tobacco industry tactics to thwart tobacco control measures, as well as evaluating the impact of those measures. This research is critical to our efforts in reducing tobacco use throughout the Americas," said Dr. Mirta Roses, director of the Pan American Health Organization, WHO's regional office for the Americas.

WHO made the announcement May 31, World No Tobacco Day 2003, sponsored every year by WHO to raise awareness about the impact of tobacco use worldwide. The theme this year, "Tobacco Free Film," was stimulated by UCSF's Smoke Free Movies project, which seeks to reduce the role of movies in promoting tobacco use worldwide.

The organization named UCSF's Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education a Collaborating Center on Tobacco Control Policy Development.

Director of the UCSF Center is Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., professor of medicine at UCSF and an internationally recognized tobacco control scholar and advocate.

UCSF is a world leader in tobacco control research, including publication of five articles in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1995 which comprised the first published scholarly research based on documents from the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company.

The JAMA articles influenced the Clinton administration's decision to allow the FDA to seek to regulate cigarettes as drug delivery devices. Along with the book The Cigarette Papers (UC Press, 1996), they helped lay the foundation for lawsuits against the tobacco industry aimed at reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

UCSF's Tobacco Control Archive contains major internal tobacco industry documents, including previously secret Brown & Williamson papers; the Mangini documents describing the "Joe Camel" cigarette campaign to target young smokers and the CalMinnesota documents dealing with tobacco industry political activity in California.

In 2001, The American Legacy Foundation awarded $15 million to UCSF to establish permanent internet access to tens of millions of pages of once-secret tobacco industry documents (available online) and to develop the Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education -- a center for scholarly study of the material. The two UCSF programs are designed to improve and strengthen internet access to some 40 million pages oftobacco industry and related documents, to periodically add to the document collection, and to ensure that this rich source of information remains fully accessible to scholars, health advocates, journalists and the public. Most of the documents have been obtained through litigation led by state attorneys general.

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