Smoke Free North East Office: a model of good practice for England?
This three year study, beginning in 2006, will evaluate the effectiveness of Smoke Free North East (SFNE) and the Smoke Free North East Office (SFNEO), the first regional Tobacco Control Office (TCO) in England. The SNFEO is modelled on the successful experience of the California TCO, but with modifications appropriate to the U.K. context. Qualitative methods will be used to fully describe the formation and functioning of the SFNEO and to monitor outcomes. We shall also be investigate changes to public opinion, and changes in public sector awareness of and support for tobacco control and the relationship of these changes to measures of smoking prevalence and smoking related mortality and morbidity. Comparisons will be made with other regions of England over the same time period.
Project activities can be broken down into three sub-sections:
1. To describe and analyse the fluid and negotiated relationships between the SFNEO and its collaborating networks in the NE region.
2. To compare the SFNEO to tobacco control management in the other regions of England.
3. To study public perceptions of smoking using in-depth qualitative methods.
Subsidiary outcomes are:
- To publicize the work of SFNE
- To inform and increase the efficiency of the SFNEO
- To provide a model of good practice for other regions and other public health initiatives.
The project is based upon qualitative and ethnographic methods. The researchers will engage in participant-observation and informal interviews with SFNE, the SFNEO, its collaborators and stakeholders. They will also carry out informal interviews with and collect information from tobacco control professionals in other English regions and with members of the public in one or more communities with high smoking prevalence and high smoking related morbidity and mortality.
This project is funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative, a consortium of nine partners: the British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK; Department of Health; Diabetes UK; Economic and Social Research Council; Medical Research Council; Research and Development Office for the Northern Ireland Health and Social Services; Chief Scientist Office; Scottish Executive Health Department; and Welsh Assembly Government. Total project budget is £148,000.