Georgia State University’s grant from Pfizer Inc. to continue work on tobacco control in Chinese cities has been renewed for a second year at $867,000.
This disbursement is the second in a renewable grant up to $2.1 million focused on helping cities plan and implement policies to reduce smoking and enhance public awareness about the health risks associated with it.
Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health and principal investigator of the grant, said cities will play a leading role in changing the culture around smoking, especially as the country becomes more urbanized.
“The idea is to shift the social norms in China, to make smoking less socially acceptable,” Dr. Eriksen said in a statement. “Eventually, that will lead to more Chinese smokers wanting to quit, and fewer people taking up the habit. Targeting cities for these effort allows us to have the greatest impact on the largest number of people.”
During a recent chat with Global Atlanta, Dr. Eriksen said he did an informal observational study while traveling to China last fall. Out of 200 smokers he recorded, only five were women. That’s in line with the national figures gleaned from a recent study that confirmed a wide gender disparity in smoking habits. More than half of Chinese men smoke, compared with only 2.7 percent of women.
Read Global Atlanta’s story and interview here with Pam Redmon, GSU’s administrative director of the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, on what the new study results mean for the prevention and educational work in five cities with more than 69 million people.
Jeffrey Koplan, vice president for global health at Emory University and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is also an administrator of the grant.