The Smoke Free North East Office: a model of good practice for England.

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Anthropology


This study takes advantage of a unique opportunity ? the formation of a Smoke Free North East Office (SFNEO) modelled on the California Tobacco Control Office (TCO) that has been trialled successfully in the USA. But how effective is the model when applied in the UK context? This study provides an in-depth description and analysis of the workings and dynamics of the SFNEO, its adaptation to local environments, stakeholders and institutions, and the quality of its interventions. It aims to assess how successful the SFNEO is in its first three years of operation, and its potential for transferability elsewhere, alongwith potential problems and pitfalls. The SFNEO is under development, and its research and evalaution advisory committee (see list of research collaborators) has been instrumental in defining the aims and objectives of the study. A large number of organizations are collaborating in the establishment of the SFNEO and they and their counterparts elsewhere in the UK will be the beneficiaries of the research. Other regions are waiting eagerly to see whether and if so how the SFNEO performs, and the dissemination of the results of this study through the network of the other eight regional tobacco control co-ordinators in England is built into the proposal. A project steering group will oversee the progress and development of the research. This will comprise a balance of members from the SFNEO s research and evaluation advisory and management steering groups, including lay members. Tobacco use remains the single most important preventable cause of illness and death in the UK today and of the English regions, the North East bears the greatest burden. Understanding how effective an intervention the SFNEO represents, and its potential transferability to other regions, could have a major impact on health and healthcare in the UK.

Technical Summary

This proposal is to study the effectiveness of the Smoke Free North East Office (SFNEO), the first regional Tobacco Control Office (TCO) in England. It is modelled on the successful experience of the California TCO. A phased approach using multiple methods (including anthropological, epidemiological and economic) will be used to fully describe the formation and functioning of the TCO and to monitor outcomes. Primary outcomes include changes to public opinion; secondary outcomes include prevalence of smoking. Comparisons will be made with England over the same time period. The results of this study will be used to further publicise the work and operation of the SFNEO in the NE of England, provide a model for other regions considering developing a TCO and evidence on which the development of equivalent bodies can be based, and will inform the development of the SFNEO and increase its efficiency.


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