Established in 1990 the California Tobacco Control Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Established in 1990, the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) is one of America's oldest state tobacco control programs. As a longstanding program, CTCP is logically evaluated by "process evaluation" questions. Fortunately, the program's 20+ years of existence in serving large target populations provides a significant amount of meaningful data for collection and evaluation.

The California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) was established in 1990 with the stated mission "to improve the health of all Californians by reducing illness and premature death attributable to the use of tobacco products" (California Department of Public Health, 2010, modified 10/31/2012). To that end, CTCP embraced the core strategy of changing social norms (California Department of Public Health, n.d.) and long-term goals of: empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by providing leadership and research in advocating social norms creating an environment that is tobacco free; stopping illegal tobacco sales to youth; fighting the tobacco industry's aggressive marketing; assisting people to permanently quit smoking (California Department of Public Health, n.d.). The established short-term goals/measurable objectives for achieving CTCP's long-term goals are: eliminating smoking on restaurant patios; eliminating smoking and tobacco waste from local and state recreation areas, trails, parks and beaches; taking steps to protect residents of multiple housing units from second-hand and third-hand smoke; reducing tobacco waste that could harm wildlife and landscapes; eliminating marketing by the tobacco industry at community events and youth-oriented events; eliminating smoking in licensed daycare, foster care and assisted living to ensure smoke-free environments for children and patients; countering marketing by the tobacco industry that targets nonwhites, low-income people and youth, which are deemed vulnerable populations (California Department of Public Health, n.d.).

Due to the CTCP's established practices and relatively long history, proper evaluation questions are geared toward "process evaluation" (Anonymous, Common conceptual and methodological frameworks - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 4). The program's extensive long-term and short-term goals lend themselves to multiple evaluation questions. Deliberately limiting those questions for this assignment, one example of a proper evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by providing leadership and research in advocating social norms creating an environment that is tobacco free?" Another possible process evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by stopping illegal tobacco sales to youth?" A third possible process evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by fighting the tobacco industry's aggressive marketing?" A fourth possible process evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by assisting people to permanently quit smoking?" Though these evaluation questions are perfectly legitimate, the CTCP could also be evaluated by questions regarding: whether the CTCP's services beneficially affect the target populations; whether there are negative side effects of the CTCP's goals and methods; whether the CTCP's goals/methods are helping to solve the tobacco problem; whether the CTCP is efficiently using its available resources to address the tobacco problem; whether the costs of the CTCP's goals/methods are reasonable in view of their measurable benefits; whether alternatives to the CTCP's goals/methods would be more cost-efficient (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., pp. 5-6). Nevertheless, for purposes of this assignment, the four goal-centered evaluation questions stated above will be used. The rationale for those four evaluation questions is the fact that they go to the heart of CTCP's work by examining CTCP's stated goals and stated methods of achieving those goals.

Since those four evaluation questions embrace all the long-term goals of CTCP, appropriate data collection could be extensive. In order to answer the process evaluation question "Is the CTCP achieving its goal of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by providing leadership and research in advocating social norms creating an environment that is tobacco free," the evaluator could ask target populations of citizens and health care officials in California specific questions about California's tobacco free environment and the CTCP's leadership/research in that regard. For example, this was done through the study reported by Wakefield, Durkin, Spittal, Siahpush & Scollo in 2008, which showed that largely due to the contributions of CTCP, researchers have found that social norms against tobacco are pronounced in California (Wakefield, Durkin, Spittal, Siahpush, & Scollo, 2008).

The process evaluation question "Is the CTCP achieving its goal of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by stopping illegal tobacco sales to youth" could be answered through data collection among target populations of youth, tobacco vendors and health officials about CTCP's efforts to reduce these illegal sales and the connected rise/fall of illegal tobacco sales to youth since the CTCP's inception and targeted programs. Messner & Pierce touched upon tobacco usage by children/youth when they reported on data collected on CTCP's efforts from 1990 until 2005 in connection with the incidence of child/youth experimentation with tobacco. Messner & Pierce found: in the age group from 12 -- 14, males first experimenting with tobacco declined by 80% and females first experimenting with tobacco declined by 92% (Messner & Pierce, 2010); in the 15 -- 17 years age group, experimentation was reduced from 45% to 10%; in the age group after 17 years of age, rates of experimentation did not change, except for an increase in experimentation by young adult men aged 20 and older (Messner & Pierce, 2010). Researchers concluded that the program significantly reduced experimentation with tobacco by California children and youth but that there is an increase in experimentation among males aged 20 and older (Messner & Pierce, 2010).

The process evaluation question "Is the CTCP achieving its goal of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by fighting the tobacco industry's aggressive marketing" can be answered through collection of data among targeted populations of tobacco advertisers, citizens, health care providers and state law officials regarding the CTCP's specific efforts against tobacco marketing and measurable impact on tobacco marketing. For example, Rogers found through data collection that the CTCP is highly effective in combatting tobacco marketing: the CTCP collaborates with the State Attorney General, which brought more than 14 successful actions against tobacco companies, resulting in $24+ million in payments, penalties and fees paid by the tobacco industry (Rogers, 2010). Almost $1.9 million of that money was, in turn, used for tobacco control in California. These and other actions by the State Attorney General, with the assistance of CTCP, require advance notice about tobacco marketing and promotions, per the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Rogers, 2010).

The process evaluation question "Is the CTCP achieving its goal of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by assisting people to permanently quit smoking" can be answered through data collection among targeted populations of smokers, ex-smokers and health care officials regarding CTCP's programs to aid in quitting smoking and the measurable effects of those efforts among the target populations. For example, the CTCP itself has collected data among these target groups. After collecting and evaluating its data, the CTCP found: the CTCP has already assisted in saving more than 1,000,000 lives and $86+ billion in California health care costs (California Department of Public Health, n.d.).

Conclusion

The California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP)…

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