Research and Evaluation Support for the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT)

The public health issue: The Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT) is a statewide coalition dedicated to strengthening tobacco control laws across Pennsylvania. As a contractor with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, PACT works with local coalitions and national health organizations to educate the public and elected officials about clean indoor air, tobacco taxes and other critical tobacco control issues.

In Pennsylvania, more than one in five adults currently smoke, and tobacco use causes over 20,000 deaths annually. There is significant room for improvement in state tobacco-related policies; Pennsylvania’s clean indoor air law is not comprehensive, leaving thousands unprotected from secondhand smoke in the workplace. Additionally, Pennsylvania is the only U.S. state that does not tax smokeless tobacco products, which are known to cause serious health conditions. Funding for tobacco prevention and cessation services in Pennsylvania falls significantly below the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Our contribution to the solution: Starting in 2008, our team has worked with PACT, under the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, to complete several studies related to Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act (PA CIAA). This work has included a compliance study that tested air quality in bars prior to and following implementation of the law; a geographic study that assessed whether bars that applied for PA CIAA exemptions are disproportionately located in certain areas of the state; and an economic impact study that found no negative economic impact on restaurants or bars following implementation of the law. Additionally, the evaluation team provides PACT with continuous technical assistance and evaluation findings related to ongoing legislative advocacy, a youth advocacy movement and strategic planning/partnerships. Key tasks have included preparing targeted fact sheets and maps to educate legislators and community members and promote improved tobacco control policies in Pennsylvania.

Read the economic impact study.