Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
Section Newsletter
Winter 2005

From the Chair

Dear ATOD Members:

The Annual Meeting that was held in Washington, D.C., in November was a great success for ATOD. We had a comprehensive, informative and even motivational program. Again thanks to our Program Chair and Committee, we had the largest number of scientific sessions of any section. The Section received close to 600 abstracts, and the program had 45 oral sessions and 29 poster sessions. These sessions were well-attended, and the feedback received concerning the program was excellent. Not only did we have a large offering of scientific sessions, we also had well attended social and business functions. We had truly inspirational presentations from our ATOD awardees. The Section membership should be pleased to learn that many more individuals have volunteered to work on behalf of the ATOD Section.

A crowning achievement of the meeting was the new APHA policy to host future meetings in smoke-free cities. This policy resolution was spearheaded by the ATOD Section leadership. During the past few years, ATOD has gained considerable skill and knowledge in maneuvering through the APHA governance system. In addition, our current Past-Chair, Diana Conti, was elected to the Intersectional Council Steering Committee. With our Governing Council gaining increased skill and Diana now sitting on an important APHA committee, our ATOD interests and issues will, hopefully, receive more attention within the Association.

This is very important especially since the political climate for research on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs continues to face difficult challenges. Over the last few years, we have had to contend with political actions that have attacked and tried to twist science to meet ideological ends. This attack has come in the form of increased secrecy and suppression of information as well as attempts to de-fund research projects that focused on topics that were not favored by certain special interest groups. During this last year, ATOD leadership alerted APHA to some problems contributing to APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin writing a letter to the administration in support of the integrity of the NIH research process.

But, we must remain alert to any other challenges. For example, a recent report (New York Times, Jan. 6, 2005) finds the Bush administration in violation of federal law by directly producing and distributing editorials, newspaper stories and entire television news segments about the effects of drug use among adolescents. The government led the media to believe these were true news stories and failed to identify these as being prepared by government officials. The Government Accountability Office, the investigative body of Congress, found this action in violation of the prohibition on using taxpayer money for propaganda.

As public health professionals, we must continue to take an active role in promoting the policies and actions that will reduce drug use. We also must, when necessary, be prepared to advocate for and urge APHA to act on behalf of our causes to prevent or reverse actions taken by our elected leaders that would undermine the integrity of the scientific process and ATOD research.

Frances A. Stillman
ATOD Chair

APHA Adopts Operational Policy to Host All Future Annual Meetings in Smoke-free Cities

The APHA Governing Council adopted the following procedural measure on Nov. 9, 2004, with 82 percent support from members representing all Sections and Caucuses of the Association’s governing body.

“When selecting sites and negotiating contracts for Annual Meeting venues beyond those currently contracted, APHA will hold all its future meetings in smoke-free cities. An exception could be made by the Executive Board if there are specific circumstances that would severely limit APHA’s ability to find an appropriate venue for its Annual Meeting; and that APHA work with Affiliates to support local efforts to promote comprehensive smoke-free policies in host cities.”

This is a landmark change for APHA that will both positively impact the health of future meeting participants and send a clear signal that there are economic consequences for failing to pass comprehensive smoke-free ordinances. This policy indicates the leadership role that APHA is exerting in attempting to influence local and state clean indoor air policies since this is one of the largest health conferences held in the United States each year.

APHA members know that tobacco kills more than 440,000 Americans each year and is the leading preventable cause of premature death and disability; and, that, secondhand tobacco smoke is a class A carcinogen (i.e., unsafe at any level of exposure) responsible for the deaths of approximately 53,000 nonsmokers annually in the United States. Policies such as this are clear examples of public health professionals trying to improve the public’s health by using the scientific evidence base to reinforce their views with their economic might. Often tobacco companies or their intermediaries attempt to counter smoke-free ordinances by claiming that they are bad for business, despite all evidence to the contrary. This policy will put APHA at the forefront of organizations using their clout to tell state and local policy-makers that they strongly endorse comprehensive smoke-free policies, and that major cities risk losing future convention revenues by failing to enact comprehensive smoke-free ordinances that include all restaurants, bars and other public venues.

Many Section members played key roles in helping pass this procedural measure. Thanks to the Governing Councilors Cheryl Cherpitel, Laura Flinchbaugh, Traci Toomey and Bob Vollinger; then-Chair Diana Conti and Cheryl Ferguson of the New Mexico Affiliate for working diligently to get this policy passed by the Governing Council. Also Norman Giesbrecht, Jamie Chriqui, Fran Stillman, Ruth Malone and other ATOD Section members were very helpful, and Bronson Frick, Cynthia Hallett, and Maggie Hopkins from the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) provided valuable information to support this major policy change.

ATOD leaders have lots of work to do to make sure that many other organizations do everything possible to adopt similar policies to only hold their meetings in smoke-free cities. We know that money talks, and we must use our collective economic influence to help ensure that states and municipalities have as much incentive as possible to enact and enforce 100 percent smoke-free policies. We must also use these policies to counter rhetoric from the tobacco industry and their front groups that these comprehensive smoke-free policies are bad for business—-because they are not! Please share this language with your colleagues, and all the organizations of which you (or they) are members, and urge them to adopt similar, or stronger, policies. The specific procedural measure language can be found on the ATOD website at <>.

Here’s the link to the existing APHA meetings through 2010 <>. The new policy won’t take effect until after these meetings, several of which are in smoke-free cities. Next year in New Orleans may present a challenge on the smoke-free front, and public health professionals should continue advocacy efforts with local organizations over the intervening months. If you have contacts there, please reach out to people right away.

Our next challenge is to ensure that Washington, D.C., becomes smoke-free before APHA returns there in 2007. In fact, many tobacco control advocates are working to ensure that D.C. is smoke-free as soon as possible, and ideally before the World Conference on Tobacco OR Health, held jointly with the World Cancer Congress, comes to D.C. in July 2006. If you would like to help with these efforts, please contact: Smokefree DC at <>, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids at <> or the American Cancer Society at <>. Public health professionals will also continue working with Philadelphia and Denver to ensure that these cities, or the states in which they are located, become smoke-free before APHA is scheduled to convene there in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

If you have any questions or comments on this new smoke-free cities policy, please feel free to contact Bob Vollinger or one of the other Section leaders who were involved.

New -- ATOD Section Issues and Advocacy Committee

The aims of this new committee are to monitor and share information about emerging trends and identify priority policy issues related to the ATOD field. In addition, the Committee will, when feasible, work with other Section members with expertise in a given area to develop mini-analyses of policy issues and/or recommendations that will be forwarded to the APHA policy leadership regarding APHA advocacy for or against specific ATOD-related policies. The Committee will also try to identify Section members with appropriate expertise to respond to queries received from APHA staff about ATOD policy issues. The Committee will also identify opportunities to affect APHA policy through the introduction of resolutions and/or motions related to ATOD issues.

ATOD Section Announces Award Winners

The winners of the 2004 Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Section awards were announced at the ATOD Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony last November in Washington, D.C. These individuals were chosen because of their noteworthy contributions to the ATOD field and their commitment to reducing overall alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. In each category, the winners exhibited outstanding leadership or produced an outstanding effort to reduce alcohol, tobacco or other drug use, which resulted in significant change within a targeted community. This year’s winners constituted a slate of overachievers who have addressed a wide range of ATOD issues. The following is a summary of the 2004 ATOD Section award winners:

Mary Brolin, MA
Section Leadership Award

Mary Brolin is a Research Associate at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Center for Behavioral Health in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Brolin has worked in the substance abuse field for 14 years evaluating community-based prevention and treatment programs. She is currently collaborating with CSAT to guide states on using data for performance management. She is also conducting several evaluations including two drug courts, several HIV and substance abuse services projects with diverse communities and a substance abuse project for homeless women in New York City. Brolin has a master's degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago. She is also a PhD candidate at the Heller School and expects to receive her degree in May 2005.

Ellen J. Hahn, DNS, MSN
John D. Slade, MD Memorial Advocacy Award

Ellen Hahn of the University of Kentucky is actively involved in ATOD research, particularly regarding tobacco policy issues and the effectiveness of drug abuse prevention. From 1986-2004 she served as a principal investigator, a co-investigator or a project coordinator for 26 studies funded in the amount of more than $1.5 million. She has been a principle author of 17 professional journal articles on various ATOD topics. In addition, Hahn served as a Fellow in The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse Program” from 2000 – 2003. She was appointed to the Kentucky Governor’s Expert Panel on Youth Substance Abuse in 2000. Hahn has been actively involved in tobacco policy advocacy in Kentucky. She served for two years as the chairperson of a statewide tobacco control coalition, Kentucky ACTION. More recently, she spearheaded an effort in Lexington to enact a clean indoor air ordinance. This effort, which lasted over two years, entailed working actively with a local coalition, lobbying local politicians and business leaders, guiding strategy sessions, making numerous media appearances and conducting opinion polling. Her efforts lead to passage of the first clean indoor air ordinance in Kentucky, the heart of “tobacco country.” This victory is now serving as a precedence and inspiration for other communities in Kentucky and around the nation.

Robert Denniston, MA
Lifetime Achievement Award

Robert Denniston, an individual who has had a long and distinguished career in the ATOD field (but who is definitely not old) and has also provided a lifetime of significant contributions is the recipient of the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award. Denniston currently serves in the Executive Office of the President in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prior to that, he was deputy director for partnerships of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, on appointment from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He also served as director of the HHS Secretary’s Initiative on Youth Substance Abuse Prevention in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition, our recipient held the position of director of the Division of Prevention Application and Education at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). While at CSAP, he managed the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, a program of media campaigns, print and A/V materials development. He has participated in regional and national conferences, conducted training and technical assistance and developed communications networks with national, state and community organizations. His particular interests are in social marketing, knowledge transfer and the application of environmental approaches to prevention with a special focus on underage drinking. In addition, he served as director of the Division of Prevention and Research Dissemination, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and as Chief of the Information Projects Branch, National Cancer Institute. Denniston has a master’s degree in mass communications and has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization in Africa, Asia and Europe. He is a former ATOD Section Chair and has also held other ATOD Section offices.

The ATOD Section congratulates all of its award winners ,and we hope the selection of these individuals inspires you in your pursuit of excellence in all things ATOD. Now is the time to start thinking about nominations for the 2005 ATOD Section awards. If you would like to nominate someone you think is worthy of any of our awards, or for more information, please contact André Stanley at <>.

André G. Stanley, MPH
Awards Committee Chair
ATOD Section, APHA

Click on the pdf link below to see our winners!

Related Files:

Substance Abuse Treatment For Connecticut Inmates Cost Effective

Study Shows Positive Cost Benefit of Investing in Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Prisons

WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 11— Inmates from Connecticut prisons who get substance abuse treatment are significantly less likely to be rearrested, resulting in a benefit of 1.8 to 5.7 times the cost of providing the treatment, according to a study conducted by researchers at Brandeis University.

“Almost 46 percent of Connecticut’s prison population gets rearrested within the first year after release, but that figure drops to 37.4 percent for inmates who receive basic treatment and 23.5 percent for those who receive intensive substance abuse treatment,” according to Marilyn Daley, PhD, senior research associate at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy. The study by Daley and her colleague Donald Shepard, PhD, also of Brandeis University, and others was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.

“If we don’t provide the treatment, the same inmate who gets rearrested costs $45,536 to the taxpayer each year, which is 5.7 times the cost of basic treatment at $7,931 and 1.8 times the cost of intensive treatment at $25,438,” according to Shepard. Treatment costs were based on a review of prison systems budget to identify direct and indirect costs of treatment programs and incarceration.

“Based on the results of this study, the Connecticut taxpayer would receive a favorable return on the investment of state dollars in prison-based treatment programs. The government should find ways to ensure that more drug-involved inmates receive treatment,” the researchers said.

The findings of this study are relevant for states with budget difficulties that are experimenting with prison-based treatment programs compared to expensive and intensive therapeutic models of treatment. This is one of the first studies to report that attending prison-based treatment programs can substantially reduce crime, recidivism and costs to the criminal justice system, the researchers said.

“The cost benefit of providing the treatment would be much higher if we included the societal benefits of former inmates who stay away from criminal activity with some even becoming productive members of society. Previous research has also shown that untreated drug dependent offenders are likely to escalate their criminal behavior following release from prison and are responsible for an excessive amount of violent and property crime” according to Shepard.

The Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the research.

According to national figures, 80 percent of prison inmates have serious alcohol or drug problems, though only 15 percent are receiving substance abuse treatment. In addition, researchers estimate that treatment programs comprise less than 5 percent of state prison budgets, a figure that is shrinking each year.

“Over the last two decades, the criminal justice population in the United States has grown by over 200 percent, most of the increase due to an escalation in the number of drug-related offenders. Increased enforcement and mandatory sentences for drug related offenses caused the number of offenders serving sentences for drug offenses to increase nine-fold between 1982 and 1996,” the authors wrote in the paper.

The researchers examined the records of 831 inmates who were released in 1997. They collected data on the inmates for 24 months prior to release and 24 months after release to measure participation in treatment programs and rearrest rates.

At the time of this study, 83 percent of inmates serving time in Connecticut state prisons had problems with alcohol or drugs. To address these problems, the Connecticut Department of Correction provided four levels or tiers of prison-based treatment at increasing levels of intensity. The study showed reductions in rearrest rates occurred at six months, one year, 18 months and two years for inmates who attended any of the treatment programs.

The Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (<>) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (<>) is a $54 million program that funds research into policies related to alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. Based in Princeton, N.J., RWJF is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grant making in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse - tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. To this end, the Foundation supports scientifically valid, peer-reviewed research on the prevention and treatment of illegal and underage substance use, and the effects of substance abuse on the public's health and well-being.

Source: January 11, 2005 news release from the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, a National Program supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Center for Creative Leadership.

Call for Moderators

Please support the Section by volunteering to be a moderator for one of the scientific sessions of the ATOD Section program at the 2005 APHA Annual Meeting, Nov. 5 - 9, in New Orleans. If you are interested, please go to the ATOD Web site at <> and click on Moderator in the left side bar or contact Shereen Khatapoush at <>.


Nurses Invited to Join Nightingales

The Nightingales, a group of nurse activists that focuses on highlighting the role of the tobacco industry in creating the worldwide epidemic of tobacco-caused disease and death, invites nurses to join. Co-founded last year by ATOD member Ruth Malone and other APHA nurses, the Nightingales bear witness on behalf of their patients and the families whose lives and livelihoods are damaged due to tobacco addiction. Last year, for the first time, nurses from across the United States attended the Altria (Philip Morris) shareholders' meeting to speak out, reading letters sent to Philip Morris from suffering families that the nurses located in previously secret tobacco industry documents. The Nightingales will attend again this year.

"Because the public trusts nurses to tell the truth, it's especially important for us to not just quietly keep caring for Big Tobacco's victims," said Malone. "We need to be speaking up, publicly raising the moral issues involved in continuing to promote these highly engineered, tremendously addictive and destructive products."

To join, support, or get more information about this volunteer group, go to the Nightingales Web site at <>.

AJPH Call for Papers -- Race and Genetics

The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), in collaboration with the National Minority Health Leadership Summit, intends to publish a collection of manuscripts on Race and Genetics in public health. We are interested in soliciting focused primary data and important review or commentary manuscripts concerning the relationship between race and genetics in determining health and health care. Emphasis will be directed at manuscripts that examine this subject in the context of the national effort to understand and address racial disparity in health care. Full (180-word structured abstract, 3,500-word text, up to four tables/figures) and brief manuscripts (80-word structured abstract, 800-word text, up to two tables/figures) in the journal format of “Research and Practice” are welcome. All manuscripts will undergo standard peer review by the AJPH editors and peer referees as defined by the AJPH policy. To be considered for inclusion in this theme issue, manuscripts must be submitted by April 1, 2005, using the online submission system at <>. The AJPH Web site provides instructions for authors, including specific guidelines for various types of manuscripts. Please indicate at submission that your manuscript is intended for this call for papers by selecting “Race and Genetics” under the Theme Issue menu. For additional information about this theme issue, please contact the guest editors at <>.

Guest Editors:

Michael J. Fine, MD, MS
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh

Stephen B. Thomas, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Said A. Ibrahim, MD, MPH
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh

Open Position -- Tenure-Track Assistant Professor -- University of Florida, College of Medicine, Dept. of Epidemiology & Health Policy Research

The Department of Epidemiology & Health Policy Research in the University of Florida College of Medicine seeks a methodologist for a full-time tenure-track Assistant Professor position of research and teaching in an expanding social epidemiology program.

The position will require active collaboration with other social and behavioral scientists in the Department and University on the design and implementation of research programs on alcohol-related problems and their prevention. Current studies under way include community intervention trials, public policy evaluations, and epidemiological studies, with a particular focus on youth. The candidate will join an active research program involving large-scale community intervention and policy evaluation studies, led by Professor Alexander C. Wagenaar and Associate Professor Kelli A. Komro.

We are seeking a methodologist with very strong analytical and statistical skills, including techniques such as structural equation modeling, latent growth curve analyses, Box-Jenkins time-series modeling, econometric methods, log-linear modeling, multi-level hierarchical modeling, and related methods. This position will supervise statistical support staff and graduate students across multiple projects. Responsibilities will be mostly research, with occasional teaching of courses limited to masters and PhD students.

Specific requirements for the position include: (1) an earned doctorate in public health, sociology, psychology, statistics, biostatistics or other social sciences field; and (2) a minimum of two years of research experience specifically focused on the application of advanced statistical methods to community and policy studies. Primary criteria for appointment include demonstrated expertise in statistical applications, ability to author peer-reviewed publications and grant proposals, interest and ability in collaborative multi-disciplinary research, and a background in prevention studies. Previous work on the prevention of alcohol-related problems is desired.

Interested applicants should e-mail a letter of interests, curriculum vita, two recent papers, and list of three references to <>, or mail to Alexander C. Wagenaar, PhD, Department of Epidemiology & Health Policy Research, University of Florida College of Medicine, 1329 SW 16th Street, room 5287, PO Box 100177, Gainesville, FL 32608.

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity employer.

2005 ATOD Section Leadership Roster

Please contact any officer for information and especially the committee chairs for areas in which you would like to become involved.

Fran Stillman

Bob Vollinger

Immediate Past Chair:
Diana Conti

Jamie Chriqui

Section Councilors:
Linda Bosma

Tom Greenfield

Shereen Khatapoush

Ruth Malone

John Noble

Jennifer Wierewille Norton

Governing Councilors:
Kris Bosworth

Johnnetta Davis-Joyce

Ann Mahony

Traci Toomey

Bob Vollinger

Action Board Representative:
Leonard Lamkin

Annual Program Chair:
Barry Bleidt

Social Event Coodinator:
Gabrielle Denmead

Moderator Coordinator:
Shereen Khatapoush

Booth Coordinator:
Marilyn Daley

Review Completion Monitor:
Linda Bosma

Awards Chair:
André Stanley

Communications Chair and Web Site Editor:
Gabrielle Denmead

Newsletter Editor:
Mary Brolin

Listserv Coordinator:
Marilyn Daley

Program Handout Coordinator:
Viniha Meyyur

Web Site Coordinator:
Gabrielle Denmead

Nominations Chair:
Diana Conti

Publications Board Representative:
Norman Giesbrecht