Both the National Cancer Institute’s ASSIST program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s SmokeLess States Initiative (SSI) assume that state-wide, multi-party coalitions are critical to achieving tobacco policy objectives. However, there is little systematic empirical evidence about whether coalitions do make a difference and what features help them make a difference. From 1994 to 1997, we studied 12 SSI coalitions, using a mix of field research, a survey of coalition members, and secondary data on environmental characteristics and policy outcomes. Using bi-variate analysis at the level of the state, we identified characteristics of the environment and the coalitions that were significantly related to passage of tobacco excise taxes. States that passed a tobacco tax had higher levels of tobacco manufacturing (not farming) and higher unemployment in 1996. Higher tobacco sales, a higher death rank from tobacco, and median income were negatively related to passing a tax. Coalitions with a focus on programs rather than policy were less likely to pass a tax. Passage was positively related to member reports that the coalition provided benefits to individual participants and organizations; to a high level of “lead agency” influence on decisions; and to leadership that was directive, even controlling. It was negatively related to high levels of member involvement and meeting attendance. Some findings are counter to assumptions about how effective coalitions operate; what it takes to succeed in difficult tobacco policy battles may be different from what it takes to keep a coalition going in less intense periods.
Learning Objectives: Audience members, at the end of the session, will be able to: 1. Identify at least three characteristics of state environments that are related to the passage of increased tobacco excise taxes; and 2. Identify at least four characteristics of state wide coalitions that are related to the passage of increased tobacco excise taxes
Keywords: Coalition, Tobacco Policy
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA