American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
Section Newsletter
Fall 2008

ATOD Section Chair Message

ATOD Section Chair’s Column

September 2008


Hope you’re all doing well and getting back in your fall routines!  I’ll try to keep this column short, because if you’re like me, you probably don’t have much time to read it.  From talking and working with many of you, workloads just don’t seem to get any lighter, and life keeps racing along at a frenetic pace — so be sure to enjoy the journey! 


I want to thank all of you who submitted abstracts to the ATOD Section this year, and offer my sincere gratitude to all who participated in the abstract review process, especially Linda Bosma, our stellar Program Committee chair, and April Brubach and ESI, our hosts for the meeting.  All you volunteers are the keys critical to the success of our Section and to the outstanding scientific program that we put on each year at the Annual Meeting.  We had a great group of volunteers and Section leaders who just recently completed the process of reviewing and compiling the program for our meeting in October, so you should be getting word soon about whether your abstracts were accepted.  As always, many outstanding abstracts were submitted, indeed far more than would ever fit into the limited number of oral sessions we’re allotted.  We expect to have many exciting poster sessions and are working this year to try to highlight some of these in new ways, so stay tuned for more details about this as planning for the meeting continues.


Our Mid-year Section Leadership Meeting was also a big success, and we welcomed several new people to our ranks.  Thanks to everyone who participated in either of these meetings and who has volunteered time and expertise to advance the work of our Section.  We also had a good response this year to our efforts to recruit ATOD members to run for numerous APHA boards and committees, or who agreed to run for ATOD leadership positions.   These positions provide service and support to the entire APHA and provide many opportunities to make sure that our professional issues remain front and center on APHA’s agenda.  Thanks again to all of you who are willing to be considered for leadership positions in the association representing the ATOD Section.


Nominations have been submitted for the 2008 Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Section Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the ATOD field, and winners will be announced at the ATOD Section's Award Ceremony and Business Meeting to be held at APHAs 136th Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego.   We look forward to seeing you in October in San Diego for the APHA Annual Meeting.

For more information, please contact:
ATOD Awards Committee
c/o André G. Stanley, MPH, Chair            
Phone: (919) 855-6886
Fax:        (919) 855-6894


As always, I’m happy to invite you to get more involved in our Section!  Feel free to contact any of our Section Leaders listed here depending on your particular interests or expertise, or any of the individuals listed in the following articles — we’d all be glad to hear from you and get your help on our respective initiatives.  I want to point you toward our new ATOD Section webWsite at   Please bookmark the new URL and check back periodically to see highlights or news from the Section.  If you have a topic that’s particularly important to you and that you think should be on the radar screen of the ATOD Section but isn’t yet, feel free to call me at (301) 496-0275.  I’ll be glad to hear from you and discuss how we can advance the issues by working together. 


Take it Easy & Enjoy Life!

Bob Vollinger

Join Us at the ATOD Social Event and Section Awards/Business Meeting

The ATOD Section Social Hour will be held on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008 from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.


The ATOD Section Awards Ceremony & Business Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008 from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.


Check out the program for the room locations.


As an added feature this year, the ATOD Section will showcase student posters.  You can see these Showcase Posters on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008 from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.


Please join us at these ATOD Section activities.

New National Cancer Institute Monograph

The Role of Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is still the single largest cause of preventable death in the United States. About 20 percent of American adults still smoke, and more than 4,000 adolescents smoke their first cigarette each day.

The National Cancer Institute's Tobacco Control Monograph 19, "The Role of Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use," explores how mass media have affected our attitudes and behaviors toward tobacco use. Media channels have been successfully used to promote tobacco use and to reduce it. Now, when the use of mass media is expanding and the tobacco industry is finding new ways to encourage tobacco use, a full understanding of this issue is vital to public health.

The latest in the Tobacco Control Monograph series, Monograph 19 provides a critical, scientific review and synthesis of current evidence regarding the power of the media both to promote and reduce tobacco use. In addition, the monograph explores and recommends strategies to leverage the media to best serve the public health in this high-stakes arena.

To help us understand these issues, this monograph gives important facts about media and tobacco use, including:

  • Youth are influenced to start smoking by tobacco advertising and promotions.
  • Depictions of tobacco in movies prompt adolescents to start smoking.
  • Televised media campaigns can reduce tobacco use.
  • The tobacco industry and its supporters have used various media strategies to counter tobacco control measures and messages.
  • Media, including new and nontraditional forms such as the Internet and video games, will continue to influence tobacco use in the future.

Order a free monograph copy by going to or calling the NCI Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

Ask for NIH Publication No. 07-6242.

The Tobacco Control Monograph Series, established in 1991 by the National Cancer Institute, provides ongoing and timely information about emerging public health issues in smoking and tobacco use control. Recent titles include: Greater Than the Sum: Systems Thinking in Tobacco Control; Evaluating ASSIST — A Blueprint for Understanding State-level Tobacco Control; and ASSIST — Shaping the Future of Tobacco Prevention and Control. To view past monographs, visit

Michigan Establishes Scholarship Fund in Honor of Dr. Ronald Davis

The Dr. Ronald M. Davis Preventive Medicine Residency Scholarship fund has been established at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Dr. Davis, a University of Michigan graduate who became president of the American Medical Association in June 2007, is also the chair of the preventive medicine residency program and an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, and director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Henry Ford Health System.


Dr. Davis was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has kept a touching blog of his struggle against the particularly aggressive disease, which is available at


The new scholarship challenge will support physician graduate students pursing an MPH, based on merit or need. The current President’s Donor Challenge will match donations to the scholarship fund $1 for $2 until Dec. 31, or until the fund is expended.


"The University of Michigan’s Preventive Medicine Residency program provides a stellar experience for physicians to learn the principles of health promotion and disease prevention and how to practice population-based medicine in the public and private sectors," Dr. Davis said. "I’m honored to be linked to the Davis Preventive Medicine Residency Scholarship, and I urge those dedicated to a stronger public health infrastructure to contribute to it."


After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in zoology, Dr. Davis went on to the University of Chicago to earn a master’s in public policy studies and an MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine in 1983.


His chief public health research interest is tobacco control, specifically the areas of tobacco control policy, including advertising and promotion, strategies to reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, and activities of the tobacco industry. In addition, treatment of tobacco dependence is an important part of his research and clinical practice. Other research interests include immunization, injury control, behavioral risk factor surveillance and conflicts of interest in scientific publication.


For more information about the scholarship and ways to contribute, please visit

Guideline Update for Tobacco Use and Dependence

The new Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update, was released recently in Chicago at the American Medical Association.

For more information, go to

Copies will be held in the NCI warehouse and will be available for online ordering.  or

California Alcohol Problems Drain $38 Billion Annually

More than 9,000 Lives Lost Each Year, Many More Suffering While Big Alcohol Avoids Responsibility and Taxes

Los Angeles, July 23, 2008 -- Marin Institute, the alcohol industry watchdog, held a news conference and town hall meeting in Los Angeles today to release the disturbing findings of its landmark report, The Annual Catastrophe of Alcohol in California. Such a comprehensive study has never been done in California.

Before a large gathering of public health experts, policy-makers, and community activists, digital clocks ticked away in real time the incredible economic costs ($1,200 per second or $38.4 billion annually), incidents of harm (100 per hour or 921,928 annually) and deaths (1 per hour or 9,439 annually).


Marin’s study calculates that moderate-to-high alcohol consumption in California is costing roughly $1,000 per resident. By comparison, tobacco costs California approximately $550 per resident. The study also estimates $25.3 billion in lost productivity and reduced earnings.


“What makes these study results both so complex and so tragic is how alcohol-related harm takes so many forms and affects so many lives,” said Michele Simon, Marin Institute research and policy director. Simon co-authored the report with Ted Miller of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and Simon Rosen, Marin Institute research analyst.


Marin Institute compared the economic losses to those from natural disasters and concluded that alcohol costs far outpace earthquakes and fires.


"Unlike earthquakes, fires, floods and mudslides, which come along infrequently, the catastrophe of alcohol in California happens annually, with devastating effects, and can be prevented,” Rosen noted.


The study also estimates an additional $48.8 billion in quality of life costs, due to the pain and suffering of victims and families.


“These harms are not just economic, they are also deeply personal," Rosen said. "Quantifying the pain and suffering endured by numerous people from alcohol harm may be the most compelling result of this study.”  


Librarian and community activist Manya Anderson, a life-long resident of South Los Angeles, continues to witness firsthand the devastation of alcohol in her own family as well as in the communities of South L.A. 


“As residents, it is clear to us that both African American and Latino families have borne the brunt of the alcohol industry’s sale of liquor in our communities," Anderson said. "More liquor in our community means poor health and a lack of safety.”


California State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles, observed that, "Whether it’s consumed as a vintage wine from a prestigious appellation or a fortified variant, a micro-brew or malt liquor, an alcopop or high-end distilled spirit, alcohol's cost is much more than the price paid for a drink at the corner liquor store or neighborhood bar.”  He added, “As a legislator, I am looking forward to engaging my colleagues along with representatives of the industry in a discussion of the report's findings and recommendations."


Marin Institute is calling for a number of steps to reverse the catastrophe, including higher alcohol taxes to reduce excessive consumption and the related harm and costs. While the harmful cost of alcohol is equal to $2.80 per drink, current alcohol taxes come to only 8 cents per drink. “The alcohol lobby has been very effective in minimizing their taxes and fees to just 1.7 percent of their income from sales,” noted Bruce Livingston, Marin Institute’s executive director. “It’s time we hold Big Alcohol accountable by getting them to pay their fair share.”


Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, public health officer and director of the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department, said, “Marin Institute’s report is a much needed reminder of the harm and costs associated with alcohol consumption in California.” 


The study will be published next month by the peer-reviewed journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. To download study findings visit

APIS Announces Update of Alcohol Policy Information

The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), a project by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, announces its latest update of state-by-state alcohol policies. The Jan. 1, 2007 update, which covers all 36 of the APIS “policy topics,” is now posted on the site found at: The update covers the period Jan. 2, 2006 through Jan. 1, 2007.


APIS is an online resource that provides detailed information on selected alcohol-related policies across the United States.


In all, the update highlights over 40 changes in state alcohol policy statutes and regulations.  Among the most prominent of these changes were:


  • Connecticut, Oklahoma and Rhode Island have adopted laws to impose criminal liability on those who host underage drinking parties.
  • North Carolina and Wyoming have adopted keg registration laws.
  • Seven changes were made to taxes of beer, wine, distilled spirits, and flavored alcohol beverages.  Among the most significant:  Mississippi has repealed its 1 percent sales tax on beer, wine, and distilled spirits, and Maryland has repealed its county-specific volume tax on beer while retaining a statewide tax of $0.09 per gallon on beer.
  • Colorado, Connecticut and Nevada have adopted provisions that specifically prohibit insurers from denying payment for insurance benefits for losses due to intoxication of the insured.
  • Alaska has adopted a reporting requirements provision mandating that pregnant women who consume alcohol be reported to child welfare services.  In contrast, South Dakota has added a provision to its reporting requirements laws to permit discretionary referral of women who consume alcohol during pregnancy to assessment or treatment services.


Visit the APIS Web site to obtain details on these important policy developments and to review other changes in alcohol policy across the country.


Many of these changes are consistent with the goal of reducing underage drinking and its consequences as well as alcohol-related death and injury in the general population.


[This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN267200800007C.]

Public Health Without Borders, APHA’s 136th Annual Meeting

Join us in discussing Public Health Without Borders at the APHA 136th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Oct. 25-29, 2008 in San Diego.  Discounts are available for students!  Please check the APHA Web site at for more information.


Protective Schools Revisited: Tapping into the Power of School Culture

Oct. 20-21, 2008

University Marriot Hotel, Tucson, Ariz.



For more information visit: ProtectiveSchoolsconference.pdf or

This is Public Health

Most people don't realize the impact that public health has on their lives, but there are examples all around you. There are factors that determine your health that you can control, and there are factors that you cannot. It's public health that fights both of those battles. Public health isn't something that matters to someone else -- public health is your health.

The "This Is Public Health" campaign is a way for public health students to demonstrate all the ways in which public health improves our lives. Check out This is Public Health’s creative and informative Web site.  The video is excellent!

Our Revamped Web Site

The ATOD Web site is being revamped! We will be providing new content, links to our newsletter, SECTION news, PHOTOS, MEMBERSHIP INFO, and other updated material. Our Web site is:   


We also want to hear from you.  Please send us your suggestions and ideas for what you would like posted to the Web site, and we’ll do our best to do so.  Please send ideas to Andrea Frydl at

Join APHA and the ATOD Section

To join the ATOD Section as a new APHA member, go to the APHA Web site at  When you join APHA, you can choose the ATOD Section as your primary or secondary Section.


If you are already an APHA member and would like to change or add a SPIG or Section, send an e‑mail to Note that you should include your membership ID # (you can find it on the mailing label on your American Journal of Public Health or The Nation's Health; it's the first 7-digit number)!


To all academics: Tell your students:

Students Receive Huge Registration Discount!

Program and Abstracts Available from the 135th Annual Meeting

The program and abstracts from the 135th APHA Annual Meeting, Politics, Policy & Public Health , are still available online at:


You can get our ATOD-specific program at: 

Newsletter Articles Requested

This is your newsletter, so please send us information you would like to share with your colleagues. We're interested in summaries of conferences, commentaries on articles, research or policies and announcements about conferences. If you have important news, we'd like to hear about it and publish it in the APHA-ATOD Section Newsletter. Please e-mail your news to


The deadline for our next issue, the 2009 Winter issue, will be early January 2009.

Keep Your E-Mail Up-to-Date

E-mail has become a primary means of communication within our Section and APHA. Please notify APHA of any changes in your e-mail address or other contact information at If you are part of the ATOD Listserv, please notify Marilyn Daley at of any changes in your e-mail address.

ATOD Listserv Available

The ATOD Section has set up a listserv to help members communicate with each other on matters relating to policy, practice and research in the areas our Section covers.  The listserv is a way to quickly inform others of developments, solicit assistance on matters of ATOD policy and its implementation as well as alert our members to opportunities and events of interest.


Control of the listserv will remain exclusively with the ATOD Section, and all listings will be kept strictly confidential.  Messages will be disseminated only after the sender and message content have been "vetted" as appropriate for our Section.


To join the listserv, e-mail your name and e-mail address to Listserv Coordinator Marilyn Daley at


To provide a message for posting (after vetting), e-mail the material to Listserv Coordinator Marilyn Daley at You do not have to be a member of the listserv to post messages.


Tell your colleagues about upcoming events, conferences, programs, research, opportunities or anything you are interested in.  If your e-mail address changes, or you wish to unsubscribe, e-mail Marilyn as well.

Section Leadership


Bob Vollinger

Chair Elect

Ann Mahony

Immediate Past Chair

Fran Stillman


Mary Brolin

Section Councilors

Lawrence Brown


Dionne Godette


Leonard Lamkin


Gary Najarian


Mark Parascandola

Governing Councilors

Tom Greenfield


Johnetta Davis-Joyce


Cynthia Hallett


Donald Zeigler

Annual Program Chair

Linda Bosma

Moderator Coordinator

Shereen Khatapoush

Poster Monitor

Open Position


Social Event Coordinator

Open Position

Membership Chair

Carol Schmitt

Booth Coordinator

Carol Schmitt

Awards Chair

Andre Stanley

Newsletter Editor

Meelee Kim

Listserv Coordinator

Marilyn Daley

Program Handout Coordinator

Vinitha Meyyur

Web Site Coordinator

Mark Parascandola

Nominations Chair

Fran Stillman

Action Board Representative

Lenny Lamkin

Fundraising Committee

Cynthia Hallett

Inter-Section Council Steering Committee Chair

Diana Conti

Publications Board Representative

Norman Giesbrecht