Skip to main content
Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R01CA095964-07 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Balbach, Edith
Organization: Tufts University Medford
Project Title: Organized Labor and Tobacco
Fiscal Year: 2009
Back to top


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): While the shared interests that unions and public health have in worker health has led to cooperation on many health issues, it has often not led to such cooperation on tobacco control. While some unions have been supportive of tobacco control efforts, many have not, and a number have adopted pro-tobacco industry positions, especially protesting tax increases and assisting in the defeat of smoke free air legislation. We will build on our previous study of the relationship between organized labor and public health and continue to explore ways to improve that relationship, which has the potential to improve the health of blue collar and service sector workers, a group with higher than average smoking rates. Our overall research goal is to continue to build an understanding of the relationships among the tobacco industry, organized labor, and public health, focusing on state level activity in 9 states. To achieve this goal, we will pursue three specific research aims: Specific Aim #1. Continue our comprehensive search of the tobacco industry databases for materials related to the political interactions among public health, organized labor and the tobacco industry, focusing in this renewal on the state level issues related to smoke free worksites and excise tax increases. Specific Aim #2. Develop 9 case studies based on research conducted under Specific Aim #1, using additional information found through the labor press, local newspapers, and other written sources, and through interviews with key labor leaders and public health activists. Specific Aim #3. Using comparative case analysis, synthesize the 9 case studies conducted under Specific Aim #2 with three state level case studies completed under parent grant (2002-2005) to build a comprehensive study of public health's efforts to work with organized labor on excise taxes and smoke free worksites. To lower the high number of deaths caused by smoking, public health must lower smoking rates. Two of the leading interventions to achieve this reduction are worksite restrictions and excise tax increases. To implement these interventions in states with strong unions, public health must work with organized labor. This project will study the factors that facilitate and impede that relationship with a goal of improving it.

Back to top



Back to Top