Statewide Evaluation of the Pennsylvania Tobacco Prevention and Control Program

The public health issue: There is an ongoing need to combat the unevenly distributed, costly, and preventable death and disease caused by tobacco use.

Comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs must address the health burden of tobacco use through a multifaceted approach that:

  1. prevents initiation of tobacco use;
  2. promotes tobacco use cessation;
  3. eliminates exposure to secondhand smoke and
  4. addresses tobacco-related disparities.

Our contribution to the solution: PHMC’s Research & Evaluation Group, in collaboration with Branch Associates, Inc. (BAI), has been conducting a statewide evaluation of the Pennsylvania Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (PATPC) since 2005. Our team’s evaluation of the tobacco prevention, cessation, and control programs that comprise PATPC was designed to provide the Pennsylvania Department of Health with systematic, objective information and recommendations to inform decision-making, improve program assessment, increase accountability, and facilitate communication about program activities and progress towards meeting major objectives.

The Research & Evaluation Group uses a mixed-method evaluation, incorporating data from regional and statewide programs. Data is organized and presented using a modified MPOWER framework: Monitoring prevention policies, Protecting people from tobacco smoke, Offering help to quit tobacco, Warning about the dangers of tobacco, Enforcing and informing policy compliance, and Raising community and legislative awareness. By developing and annually re-assessing, revising, and adding standardized data measures, the evaluation team improves the quality of program data and ensures evaluation-related reporting aligns with changes in PATPC efforts and funding requirements. Evaluation findings have been used to improve the program throughout the decade and to support discussion of PATPC successes and lessons learned with other states and the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s national colleagues.

Read some of the findings related to the statewide evaluation:

Quit Success among those Utilizing PA Free Quitline Services

Referral Methods and Successes for PA Free Quitline Callers with Chronic Disease

Cross-cutting chronic disease collaborations using tobacco prevention and control infrastructure

Economic Impact of a Noncomprehensive Smoke-Free Air Law and PA Free Quitline