Muskie School of Public Service

Report on Tobacco Prevention & Control in Rural America

The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) in conjunction with the Maine Public Health Institute and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) announced the release of Advancing Tobacco Prevention and Control in Rural America, a new report highlighting the significant toll tobacco has on rural communities.  Faculty, staff and students from the Maine Public Health Institute, the Muskie School and Cutler Institute worked on this endeavor. A review committee of experts from 15 organizations contributed to the report that explores rates and patterns of commercial tobacco use across rural subpopulations, aspects of the rural context that may affect tobacco prevention and control efforts, and rural tobacco control activities. The report includes 15 recommendations for advancing rural tobacco control initiatives and suggestions for future research.

“Analyzing national data, we found marked rural-urban tobacco use disparities in many subpopulations,” said Jean Talbot, PhD, MPH, lead author of the report. “To arrive at a more complete understanding of these disparities, we explored not just sociodemographic risk factors but also rural infrastructure, policy environment, and cultural norms as possible contributing factors. In doing so, we identified core strengths of rural communities that can be leveraged to support rural tobacco prevention and control, including strong social networks, high levels of community engagement, and experience in forming cross-sector collaborations.”

The full report can be found here.