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A summary of this working group report was published as an editorial in the BMJ (Samet JM, Taylor CE, Becker KM, et al. Research in support of tobacco control.BMJ 1998;316:321–2) < http://www.bmj.com/archive/7128/7128e1.htm >. The full report, as reproduced below, is available on the BMJ’s web site at < http://www.bmj.com/archive/7128/7128ext.htm >.—ed
The 10th World Conference on Tobacco or Health was held in Beijing at a critical juncture for the world’s tobacco control movement. Facing a declining market in many Western, developed countries and formidable law suits in the United States, the major tobacco companies of the developed nations have aggressively turned to developing countries as their future markets. This global conference offered a venue for discussion at a time of urgent need for action as marketing of cigarettes by multinational corporations is spreading rapidly throughout the developing world and in central and eastern Europe.
To foster discussion on policy-relevant research, tobacco control experts from throughout the world (see appendix) met intensively during the conference. The participants were policy makers, researchers, tobacco control specialists, and activists, drawn from developing and developed countries from all over the world. Key sectors were represented including academia, public health agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private industry. Two working groups met in parallel throughout the conference: one addressing epidemiological research and intervention studies, and the other, broader policy-related research. The overall objective was to identify the research evidence and public health data with the highest potential to affect tobacco control policy.
Over the past few years, several global and national reviews of priorities for tobacco control, and for tobacco control research more specifically, have been completed. These reports have emphasized the need for cost-effective interventions to be developed for the prevention and control of tobacco use and ultimately of tobacco-attributable disease. Particular attention has been given to the need for information on tobacco use and health impact, identification of the determinants of use and quitting, and the impact of interventions (in terms of efficacy, effectiveness, and occasionally, cost-effectiveness), and to the need for investments in human and institutional capacity for addressing tobacco control research and prevention needs. Although …