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Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
Section Newsletter
Winter 2009

ATOD Section Chair Message

From the new ATOD Chair: Ann Mahony


As the ATOD Section’s new chair, I will start by thanking Bob Vollinger, the ATOD’s esteemed chair for the past two years. Many colleagues in the field have “only spoken in superlatives” about the ATOD Section’s program presented at the Annual Meeting in San Diego. Uniformly Section members complimented the Section on its beautiful physical program as well as the content of the sessions, the event which recognized the astounding leadership of our friend and colleague Dr. Ron Davis who passed away just days after he received the section’s Lifetime Achievement award. This year the first Student Poster Showcase introduced the Section’s commitment to honoring ATOD experts at all points of their careers.         


As the new presidential administration is launched, rhetoric abounds about reaching across the political aisle. The benefit of reaching across the aisle was demonstrated with the passage of the historic Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity Act. This legislation will require health insurers to provide the same level of coverage for mental illness and substance abuse as they do for other physical illnesses. Congressional praise is in order for acknowledging that an estimated 30 percent of persons in the United States suffer from a mental health and substance use disorder annually. This legislation is a commitment toward eliminating mental health and substance use disparity and moves the nation closer to equitable care.  


To continue the theme of reaching across the aisle, as the ATOD Section chair, it’s important as a Section for ATOD to reach across the public health aisle. Let’s open the doors of the ATOD field successes in the development and practice of environmental strategies, policies and advocacy, screening and brief intervention, and state systems. The ATOD field has documented great success in these areas; it’s time to ensure that these successes are seen, exchanged and adapted by experts in the fields of obesity, nutrition and physical activity. This is especially important given that the public health field may be at the tip of funding constraints at the federal, state, local, nonprofit and foundational levels which, I hope, may result in a renewed commitment to creativity and greater exchange.


It’s my view that the strengths of the development, process and accomplishments of state systems have long been overlooked in terms of creativity in building both systems and funding streams. States stand at the nexus of systems development because they can and do reach in all directions for funding. If strategic, a state can creatively fill gaps imposed by the federal funding stream to develop its substance abuse system to fill these gaps via braided funding and to move its practices and policies forward toward a more robust prevention and treatment system. This is exemplified by those states which have built an adolescent treatment system reflecting where the adolescent is developmentally and builds an evidence-based treatment system which reflects the age and needs of the adolescent client base. States may also garner funding foundations and private nonprofits to test practices before seeking state or federal funding. In the broader area of insurance reimbursements, it is states such as Massachusetts and Vermont which are forging ahead with state insurance coverage, elements of which may serve as models to the newly appointed federal health care reform leaders. 


With a new administration at the helm, and tobacco advocate Bill Corr serving in an instrumental position within the Department of Health and Human Services, it is an exciting time. Yet, there is a screaming absence of alcohol and drug issues in the Senate’s late January stimulus package. Therefore, it is more important than ever for the ATOD field to articulate its data, evidence of its accomplishments, and to advocate for more resources.

In Memoriam of Dr. Ronald M. Davis

In Memoriam: Dr. Ronald M. Davis

By Bob Vollinger

Dr. Ronald M. Davis


After a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Ronald M. Davis, MD, passed away Nov. 6, 2008 at his home in East Lansing, Mich.


Dr. Davis served as the 162nd president of the American Medical Association (AMA) from June 2007 to June 2008.  As the first preventive medicine specialist ever elected to that position, he focused on improving access to health care, and the importance of prevention and sound public policy.  He also helped lead the AMA’s efforts to analyze its past history of racial inequality, which culminated in the organization’s formal apology towards African-American physicians in July 2008.


Dr. Davis’ career as a public health official began as director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he oversaw the publication of three landmark Surgeon General’s reports:  The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction; Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress; and The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. (  He later served as medical director for the Michigan Department of Public Health and was most recently the director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. 


From 1992-1998, Dr. Davis served as the founding editor of Tobacco Control, the first journal dedicated to tobacco control research. Subsequently, he served as the North American editor of the British Medical Journal. A prolific writer, he was an author or co-author of hundreds of articles in the peer-reviewed literature, and an equal number of editorials and pieces for the lay press. 


Dr. Davis was a key expert witness in numerous trials against the tobacco industry, including lawsuits brought by individual smokers, several state attorneys general, and the landmark class action lawsuit on behalf of flight attendants harmed by secondhand smoke. He also testified before Congress and other legislative bodies on many occasions. 


Dr. Davis was the recipient of numerous grants, including a National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant titled “Analysis of Tobacco Depositions and Trial Testimony,” which analyzed the sworn testimony of tobacco industry executives, researchers, and consultants.  The projects’ findings were published in a special supplement to Tobacco Control, available at 


Dr. Davis also served as the senior scientific editor for NCI Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 19, The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use, which provides a critical, scientific review and synthesis of the current evidence regarding the power of the media, both to encourage and to discourage tobacco use. He was a featured speaker at the press conference held to release the monograph in August 2008. 


He received many awards and honors, including the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal and the Surgeon General’s Medallion, The American College of Preventive Medicine’s Distinguished Service Award, the American Thoracic Society’s Distinguished Service Award, the John Slade Award from the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and most recently ATOD Section’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  Ron was an active member of APHA and a true leader within the ATOD field.  He inspired many members of the ATOD Section and was honored at the ATOD Awards Ceremony on Oct. 28, 2008 in San Diego by many of his friends and colleagues who told numerous stories of the tremendous impact he had on their lives and their careers in public health.  He was a role model for many in the field.  In addition, Ron will be awarded the American Legacy Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously on March 11, 2009 in New York City.


Dr. Davis received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and his medical degree and Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.  He completed epidemiology training and the preventive medicine residency program at the CDC.


Even while facing a serious illness, Dr. Davis remained an advocate.  He used his cancer diagnosis to educate the public about patient Web sites, which enable patients to communicate widely about their disease and treatment and build a community of support.  He will be remembered by his colleagues and friends around the world for his seminal contributions to tobacco control and public health as well as his kindness, integrity and dedication to helping others.  He is survived by his wife Nadine; their three sons Jared, Evan and Connor; and numerous other family members.

APHA Advises WHO on Strategies to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol

APHA Advises WHO on Stategies to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol

By Don Zeigler, PhD


The World Health Organization has been far less active on alcohol issues than on tobacco control. However, in May 2008, WHO's World Health Assembly ordered the WHO to draft a global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol. In order to do this, WHO undertook a broad consultation process that began with for a call for public testimony and stakeholder meetings. APHA participated in October by sending a six-page statement drafted by our ATOD Section.


Our Association’s statement pointed out that the global burden of disease linked to early, high-risk and chronic use of alcohol is preventable and can be reduced through application of evidence-based strategies and interventions. Global problems related to the impact of alcohol on health and society urgently requires adequate resources and governmental, non-governmental, medical, and health care collaboration led by the WHO. Moreover, trade agreements should not be used to undercut public measures to address alcohol-related problems. The WHO should identify and train governments and NGOs to implement best practices in monitoring and controlling alcohol-related harm. In addition, we recommended that the WHO formulate a binding international alcohol treaty modeled after the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Lastly, APHA committed support through the ATOD section and its members and our role in the World Federation of Public Health Associations.


Following the public testimony phase, WHO held separate meetings in late 2008 with the alcohol industry and then with NGOs and health professionals. During the first half of 2009, WHO will consult with intergovernmental organizations and UN agencies in all six WHO regions. The Americas’ meeting is 6-8 May in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The US delegation is led by representatives of Health and Human Services. The Obama Administration has already committed to tobacco control but has not come out on alcohol. APHA may be able to play an additional role by pressuring the US delegation to the WHO to strongly support a comprehensive international strategy on alcohol control - independent of commercial interests.


WHO’s last stage involves preparing a draft strategy development for consideration by the WHO Executive Board in January 2010 and presentation to World Health Assembly in May 2010.

Passage of SCHIP

SCHIP Reauthorized and Expanded:


The U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase federal tobacco taxes to help fun the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).


"Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by seven percent and overall cigarette consumption by about four percent.  A 61-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax will prevent nearly two million kids from starting to smoke, help more than one million adult smokers quit, prevent nearly 900,000 smoking-caused deaths and produce $44 billion in long-term health care savings by reducing tobacco-caused health care costs."


For more information, visit:

Smoking in the Movies

For your information: Movies with smoking cause kids to smoke

Smoke Free Movies has launched a series of print advertisements in Variety and other publications. This advertisement first ran on Jan. 27, 2009.


The National Cancer Institute1 concluded:


Movies with smoking cause kids to smoke


Having confirmed movies' causal role in recruiting a new generation of smokers, our nation can score a major victory against tobacco and protect countless lives.


Without taxpayers spending a cent, film studios and their corporate parents can immediately adopt these four reasonable policies, industry wide:


1. Rate future tobacco imagery "R," except for depictions of tobacco's dire health consequences or portrayals of actual historical figures who smoked;


2. Stop displaying tobacco brands on screen;


3. Certify that nobody in the production and distribution chain receives anything of value from a tobacco company, its agents or fronts to include tobacco imagery in a film; and


4. Run proven anti-tobacco spots before all films with tobacco imagery, in all distribution channels.


A strong majority of U.S. adults (70%) already favor R-rating future smoking and showing anti-tobacco spots before any film with smoking (67%). Sixty-one percent want tobacco brands off screen.2


The U.S. film and tobacco industries have a long history of commercial collaboration. The film industry must now act upon the scientific evidence showing that U.S. films with smoking are a vector for addiction, disease and death worldwide.


Signed by:

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Heart Association

American Legacy Foundation

American Lung Association

American Medical Association

AMA Alliance

Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights

American Public Health Association

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

New York State Department of Health

New York State PTA

Smoke Free Movies


1 U.S. National Cancer Institute (2008). Monograph 19:

2 Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control (2007).


Learn more at

UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education


Screening and Brief Intervention Report

Screening and Brief Intervention Report: 


Major Report Finds Screening and Early Intervention Program Used in Diverse Health Care Settings Dramatically Reduces Illicit Drug Use among Patients


More available at: 



Resources from AHRQ HCUP

Updated HCUP Facts and Figures Report Released:

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the release of databases, tools, and reports from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). HCUP is a family of health care databases and related products developed by AHRQ through a federal-state-industry partnership.

The HCUP Facts and Figures: Statistics on Hospital-Based Care in the United States, 2006 report presents data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database on hospital care in 2006, as well as trends in care from 1993 to 2006. It is an update of the Facts and Figures 2005 report and also contains new special topics.

Additionally, three reports from the HCUP Statistical Brief series have been recently added to the HCUP User Support Web site:

1. Hospital Stays Related to Mental Health, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #62)

2. Hospital Stays for Lung Cancer, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #63)

3. Hospitalizations Related to Pressure Ulcers among Adults 18 Years and Older, 2006 (Statistical Brief #64)

All are available at:

For more information, visit:

New DAWN Data

SAMHSA Releases New Data on Drug-related Hospital Emergency Department Visits

The latest Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report - drawn from a sample of hospital emergency departments across the nation - indicates that more than 1.7 million visits for treatment were associated with some form of substance misuse or abuse.  The 2006 DAWN report, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides the latest estimates on how substance use affects this critical part of the nation’s health care system.

Among the report’s more notable findings:

• Cocaine was involved in 548,608 emergency department visits.

• Marijuana was involved in 290,563 emergency department visits.  

• Heroin was involved in 189,780 emergency department visits.

• There were 126,704 emergency department visits by patients under age 21 where alcohol was the only substance involved in the visit.

• Stimulants, including amphetamines and methamphetamines, were involved in 107,575 emergency department visits. 

The DAWN report provides a great deal of other detailed information on how problems with a wide range of other substances contribute to hospital emergency department visits.  These substance problems include the use of other illicit drugs as well as the non-medical use of prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs.

The report also provides statistical breakdowns on drug-related hospital emergency department visits by key demographic groups and other factors.

Several sampling and estimation improvements were incorporated in the development of the 2006 DAWN report.  Many of these improvements in methodology were retroactively applied to 2004 and 2005 DAWN data to promote greater comparability among the estimates for 2004-2006.

The full DAWN report is available at  For related publications and information, visit

SAMHSA Resources

Resources from SAMHSA:


“Participation in Self-Help Groups for Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use: 2006 and 2007”:


“Underage Alcohol Use: Where Do Young People Get Alcohol?”:


“Underage Alcohol Use: Where Do Young People Drink?”:


“State Estimates of Persons Aged 18 or Older Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Illicit Drugs”:



“Cigar Use among Young Adults Aged 18 to 25”:



“Marijuana Use and Perceived Risk of Use among Adolescents: 2002 to 2007”:



“Trends in Substance Use, Dependence or Abuse, and Treatment among Adolescents: 2002 to 2007”:


Parental awareness of ATOD:

“Parent Awareness of Youth Use of Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Marijuana”:


American Legacy Foundation Resources

Some Resources from the American Legacy Foundation:

"Current Economic Situation Prompts Increased Smoking, Delay in Quit Attempts Middle and Low-Income Americans Hit Hardest. One in Four Smokers Stressed About State of Economy Smoking More on Daily Basis." For more information, visit:

"U.S. Troops Need Every Tool in the Arsenal to Win the Battle with Tobacco. 

Fight to Quit, Quit to Live."



From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Some Resources from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

“States Consider Measures to Reduce Small Cigar Availability”:


“Studies Find Hiking Alcohol Taxes Reduces Consumption”:


“Study Suggests Few Americans Aware of Thirdhand Smoke Risks”:


Oregon Expands Smoking Ban to Bars, Taverns”:


2009 APHA Annual Meeting

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for 2009 APHA Annual Meeting

APHA is announcing the Call for Abstracts for the 2009 Annual Meeting and Exposition to be held Nov. 7-11 in Philadelphia. The theme of the meeting is " Water and Public Health: The 21st Century Challenge ." We encourage abstracts in all areas of public health and are also interested in abstracts that focus on the Annual Meeting theme. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and must include learning objectives.

All abstracts must be submitted online and an easy-to-use online form will walk you through the process step-by-step. You can link directly to the abstract submission form through the APHA Web site at or

The deadline for submission of abstracts range from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20, 2009 depending on the Section, SPIG, Caucus or Forum to which you wish to submit your abstract. All submissions will end at 11:59 pm (Pacific Standard Time) on the due date listed on the Call for Abstracts.

We welcome your submissions and look forward to your contribution at the APHA 137th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Pictures from 2008 ATOD Members

Pictures from the 2008 ATOD Section Meeting in San Diego

NINETEENTH Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest

The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 19th annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.


All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 137th APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material.


Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials.  Entries for the contest are due by March 27, 2009.  Please contact Kira McGroarty at for additional contest entry information. 

Ninth Annual National Information Management Conference and Exposition

Meeting Announcement: 9th Annual National Information Management Conference and Exposition. 


The California Institute for Mental Health will host the Ninth Annual National Information Management Conference and Exposition:  Addressing the Needs of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Programs on April 22-23, 2009 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Anaheim, CalifThis is the longest-running and largest informatics conference in the United States for the behavioral health care field. 


Each year the conference hosts approximately 400 attendees exhibits by over 25 software vendors.  The program features over 40 presenter experts who will address information management issues as they pertain to mental health, alcohol and drug programs. 


The keynote presenter is Dr. Jon White, director of Health Information Technology for the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality. 


More information about the program, CEUs, and how to register can be found at:

2009 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference

Public Health in the Emergency Department: Surveillance, Screening, and Intervention


Call for Papers:


The 2009 Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) Consensus Conference on Public Health in the Emergency Department:  Surveillance, Screening, and Intervention will be held on May 13, immediately preceding the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Original papers, if accepted, will be published together with the conference proceedings in the November 2009 issue of AEM.


The theme of this conference is Surveillance, Screening, and Intervention in the Emergency Department (ED). We will focus on these key domains of ED-based public health practice. The conference will include a keynote speaker, lectures by content experts and clinicians, a lunchtime panel discussion, interactive facilitated workshops, and conference attendee voting on consensus issues.


Original contributions describing relevant research or concepts in this topic will be considered for publication in the November 2009 special topics issue of AEM if received by Monday, March 2, 2009. All submissions will undergo peer review, and publication cannot be guaranteed. For queries, please contact Steven L. Bernstein, MD, or Gail D’Onofrio, MD, MS,, Consensus Conference co-chairs. Information and updates will also be posted in the AEM journal, the SAEM Newsletter, and on the SAEM Web site. 


For more information visit:

SAVE THE DATE - National LGBTQ Tobacco Summit

7th Annual National LGBTQ Tobacco Summit
Tuesday, June 9
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix, Arizona


The LGBTQ Tobacco Summit is the premier training event for LGBTQ tobacco disparities nationwide. Workshops have been tailored to provide case studies of some of the best practices in this arena. State -, researchers, program managers, activists and community organizers are invited to meet the experts, learn and share your wisdom!

Scholarships available!

For more information, please visit:

APHA Publications Board

From the Publications Board – APHA

By Norman Giesbrecht, PhD


Many ATOD members may not realize that APHA also produces books, and that a number of them are relevant to their areas of work and interest, whether it be research, policy, health administration, clinical practice or community-based advocacy. 


At the current time APHA has dozens of book in print – readers of this newsletter are encouraged to check the APHA Web site under publications and download the extensive catalogue.


There are currently several new titles in production or accepted for production, including: Disability and Public Health; Chronic Disease and Epidemiology (3rd edition); Water and Public Health: the 21st Century Challenge; Preventing Drinking and Driving in North America; Confronting Violence (3rd edition); Careers in Public Health; Laboratory Methods for Diagnosis for STDs; Conducting Research in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities; and Health Homes for Health Families.  These titles point to direct or indirect linkages to a number of ATOD issues.  In addition, we have several other proposals that are expected to be accepted in the next few weeks.


If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an idea for your book, here is the process:


·        Please start by submitting a short, one-page description of your idea to APHA Director of Publications Nina Tristani: Please be sure to indicate who the book is intended for, and what the roughly estimated size of the market might be. If there are potentially competing products that are new or recent, it would be good to mention that also. This short description is reviewed by the Publications Board and relevant APHA staff, and you will receive quick feedback in a matter of weeks. 

·        Depending on our assessment at that stage, you may wish to submit a full prospectus – the guidelines can also be found on the APHA Web site. Within two months you will receive the decision from the Pub Board.

·        If your proposal is approved you will receive a contract and liaison arrangements will be set up to facilitate preparation of your manuscript for production and promotion.


ATOD members are encouraged to submit manuscript ideas. You are also encouraged to use current APHA books in your university courses, research work, community development activities, clinical practice and policy activities.

2008 ATOD Section Award Winners

2008 ATOD Section Award Winners

By Andre Stanley

Lifetime Achievement Award – Ronald M. Davis, MD

Dr. Ron Davis, a preventive medicine physician, most recently served as the 162nd president of the American Medical Association (AMA), from June 2007 to June 2008. Dr. Davis was elected to the AMA Board of Trustees (BOT) in June 2001 and re-elected in June 2005. He had previously served as the first resident physician member of the AMA-BOT (1984–1987).  Since receiving his BS degree from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), MD degree and an MA degree in public policy studies from the University of Chicago, Dr. Davis has served in many leadership capacities in organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Public Health and the Henry Ford Health System.  He represented the AMA on the Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission from 2002 to 2006.  Dr. Davis was the founding editor (1992–1998) of Tobacco Control; an international peer-reviewed journal published by the British Medical Association, and was North American editor of the British Medical Journal (1998–2001).  He is board certified in preventive medicine.  It is very sad to note that Dr. Davis passed away at his home in East Lansing, Michigan after a courageous 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer.  He was 52 years old.


Section Leadership Award – Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD

Dr. Tom Greenfield is a senior scientist and the scientific director of the Alcohol Research Group (ARG). He also directs ARGs National Alcohol Research Center. In addition, Greenfield serves as an adjunct clinical faculty member of the clinical services research training program at the University of California at San Francisco’s department of psychiatry.  After eight years of research and practice at Washington State University and before coming to ARG in 1991, he served as associate director for research at the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems. He has served as vice president and secretary of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Study of Alcohol and currently serves on the Extramural Advisory Board of the NIAAA.  Following degrees in astronomy and space science, Greenfield earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan.

Community-Based Leadership Award – Diane Riibe

Executive director Diane Riibe has led Project Extra Mile since its inception in 1995. Her vision and unparalleled passion for preventing underage drinking have helped Project Extra Mile to expand its efforts to cover more than half of Nebraska's population.  Project Extra Mile’s mission is to create a community consensus that clearly states that underage alcohol use is illegal, unhealthy and unacceptable.  Ms. Riibe's experience and knowledge has garnered national media attention to the issue of underage drinking.

Slade Memorial Advocacy Award – Thomas P. Houston, MD



Dr. Tom Houston is the director of the OhioHealth Nicotine Dependence Program at the McConnell Heart Health Center at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  Dr. Houston started his work in tobacco control in 1979 by starting a chapter of Doctors Ought to Care in Mississippi, engaging kids in school, making presentations on tobacco control to family medicine groups and putting up the first-ever purchased tobacco counter-advertising billboard and bus stop ads in the country.  The publicity over those activities led to a two-year stint as "Mississippi DOC," a 15 minute live TV program on the CBS affiliate in Jackson.  Dr. Houston helped establish scores of DOC groups in family medicine residencies, made presentations to all kinds of audiences, and were a thorn in the side of Philip Morris, picketing the Virginia Slims tournaments and ridiculing their ads and promotions around the nation.  The US Surgeon General gave DOC the Medallion for its work, in 1988.

Dr. Houston arrived at the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1990, and began to push the organization into a national leadership position in tobacco control, with great help from House of Delegates leaders like Dr. Ron Davis (former AMA President), and a host of others.  He chaired the AMA's second national conference on tobacco control in 1992, and in 1994 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) came to him with the idea of SmokeLess States, a national program that became a 10-year project in education, advocacy, and tobacco control policy change that would eventually invest over $90 million in 46 states and DC, and create an infrastructure for state-level tobacco control programs that echoes to this day.  The AMA House of Delegates also voted to pursue hosting a World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH), and he led the effort that culminated in the 2000 WCTOH in Chicago, still the largest tobacco control conference in history.

Best Student Abstract – Ashley Skooglund

Ashley Skooglund is currently an MPH candidate in the Department of Applied Sciences and Public Health at Indiana University in Bloomington.  Ms. Skooglund’s winning abstract, Can Drug Treatment Courts promote self-sufficiency and self-efficacy?:  A qualitative exploratory study, co-authored with Fernando Ona PhD, MPH and Zobeida Bonilla PhD, MPH, was presented at the 136th APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition held in San Diego.


Ms. Skooglund’s public health interests include the prevention, treatment and justice programming and policy surrounding alcohol and drug issues and utilizing the systems approach to best understand and develop sustainable public health programs and policy planning at state and local levels.  Upon graduation, she hopes to begin a specialized program to assist DTC participants in meeting their employment, educational and social needs.


2008 ATOD Student Poster Awards

Two ATOD Student Poster Awards Made at the 2008 San Diego APHA Meeting!

By Thomas Greenfield, PhD


The 2008 APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego inaugurated a new award, to be given annually by the ATOD Section of APHA. 


All students making poster presentations in the Student Poster Showcase I and II sessions were eligible.  It was decided that up to three could win, one each in alcohol, tobacco and other drugs areas; however, there were two winners of the ATOD Student Poster Award for the 2008 Meeting!  Each received a cash award as well as one year’s free membership to APHA and the Section.   


The judging panel was chaired by Doug Polcin, EdD, scientist at the Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, and included Dr. Mike Prelip, Associate Professor and Acting Director, MPH for Health Professionals, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health; Doug Tipperman, MSW, Public Health Advisor, Drug-Free Communities Support Program, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; and Kate Karriker-Jaffe, PhD, Associate Scientist and Postdoctoral Fellow, Alcohol Research Group. Posters were evaluated on a number of criteria, including: the importance of topic and aims, project design and quality, project implementation, innovation, contribution to knowledge and implications for practice, and quality of communication displayed by the poster.


Tom Greenfield, who organized the process, and the Section thank the four judges for their excellent efforts.  




Two 2008 Student Poster Awards went to Deborah L McLellan, MHS, for her poster entitled “What are private health plans doing (or not) about smoking cessation?”; and Samrat Yeramaneni, MBBS, whose poster was entitled: “Predictors of alcohol use and binge drinking using social cognitive theory among Asian Indian international college students”. 


Deborah is at the Heller School for Social Policy, Brandeis University, while Samrat is in the Health Promotion and Education program at the University of Cincinnati 


Tom presented the awards at the Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony.  We congratulate both Deborah and Sam for being the 2008 Student poster Award winners! 


We urge public health and other faculty to encourage students to submit posters and be considered for the ATOD Student Poster Awards at the 2009 Annual Meeting.

An Editorial

The Rhetoric of Change – Substance Abuse and Addiction

By Joseph A. Califano Jr.*


With the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the rhetoric of change echoes through the corridors of power in the nation’s capital.  Nowhere is it more urgent or important to convert that rhetoric into reality than in the area of substance abuse and addiction.  And nowhere would the return on investment of public funds be higher.


Just as the financial regulatory structure of the past is no longer able to protect the public interest in sound financial institutions and practices, so the government structure and policies relating to tobacco, alcohol and illegal and prescription drug abuse and addiction have proved incapable of protecting our children and their families from the ravages of substance abuse and addiction.


Take research.  The National Institutes of Health spend almost $15 billion on research for cancer, strokes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and AIDS.  But they spend less than $2 billion on substance abuse and addiction, the largest single cause and exacerbator of those cripplers and killers.


The organization of the federal research institutes — separate ones for Drug Abuse (NIDA, for illegal drugs and nicotine) and for Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (NIAAA for beer, wine and distilled spirits) — ignores the science of the disease of addiction.  For years CASA and others have demonstrated the tight statistical relationship of these substances — the greater likelihood that cigarette smokers and drinkers will use marijuana, and that marijuana users will get into drugs like methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin.  Now we have scientific evidence that these substances affect dopamine levels in the brain through similar pathways.  The recent findings of neurological science, and NIDA Director Nora Volkow’s work with brain imaging, reveal the similar impact of these substances on the brain.  All science and logic cries out to combine the current separate institutes into a single National Institute on Substance Abuse and Addiction.


To effect this change, the Obama administration will have to take on lobbyists for the alcohol industry (which doesn’t like being associated with other drugs) and for illegal drug researchers (who fear such a merger will reduce resources available to them since the alcohol industry has been able to hold down the NIAAA budget to half that of NIDA).


Take prevention of illegal drug use.  When Richard Nixon first declared war on drugs, he allocated 60 percent of the funds for prevention and treatment, 40 percent for interdiction and related criminal activity.  Today that original allocation has been flipped on its head.  It’s time to return to the original Nixon allocation.  Demand is the driving force in U.S. drug use: though only 4 percent of the world’s population, Americans consume two-thirds of the world’s illegal drugs.


Take prevention of smoking and alcohol abuse and addiction. Precise figures are hard to come by, but a low estimate finds that almost a third of the nation’s health care bill is attributable to use and abuse of those legal drugs, as are more than half a million premature deaths (400,000 plus from smoking and 100,000 from alcohol abuse).


Here there is a quick fix to reduce use of these substances: higher taxes to increase the price.  Research and experience has repeatedly shown that higher excise taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages reduces use and abuse, especially by the teens that the nicotine pushers regard as replacements for adults who die or quit and underage drinkers targeted by alcohol merchants.  New York City and state taxes, which brought the cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York City to more than eight dollars, have prompted a sharp drop in smoking, particularly among public high school students.  When Alaska increased taxes on alcoholic beverages in 1983 and 2002, researchers found an immediate and sustained reduction in deaths from alcohol-related diseases.  As they put it in the American Journal of Public Health, “Taxing alcoholic beverages is an effective public health strategy for reducing the burden of alcohol-related disease.”


Pick up your pen, open your e-mail and write your congressman and the new president to tell them: Those of us combating substance abuse and addiction are entitled to our share of the change you promised to bring to Washington.  Act now to battle the nation’s number-one disease: create and adequately fund a National Institute on Substance Abuse and Addiction, rebalance the allocation of resources between demand reduction and interdiction aimed at illegal drug use, and reduce smoking and alcohol abuse and underage drinking by increasing the cost of cigarettes and alcohol through higher excise taxes on these legal drugs.


*Joseph A. Califano, Jr., is Chairman and President of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University and a former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.  To comment on this article visit

Newsletter articles requested

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 Spring issue, will be early May 2009.

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Keep Your E-mail Address 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

ATOD Listserv Available


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Section Leadership

Section Leadership Contact Information






Ann Mahony

(301) 520-7734


Linda M. Bosma

(612) 721-4998

Immediate Past Chair

Bob Vollinger

(301) 496-0275


Amanda Woodfield

(312) 886-1788

Section Councilors

Lawrence Brown

(718) 260-2917


Dionne Godette

(706) 542-4370


Jamie F. Chriqui


(312) 996-6410


Linda J. Frazier

(207) 287-5589


Mark Parascandola

(301) 496-8584


Deborah McLellan




Governing Councilors

Tom Greenfield

(510) 597-3440


Johnetta Davis-Joyce

(301) 755-2744


Cynthia Hallett

(510) 841-3045


Donald Zeigler

(312) 464-5687

Moderator Coordinator

Kathye Gorosh



Student Posters Award Coordinator 

Tom Greenfield

(510) 597-3440

Social Events Manager

Deborah McLellan




Membership Chair

Carol Schmitt

(202) 728-2046

Section Booth  Coordinator

Brandon Johnson

(202) 728-2046


Awards Chair

Andre Stanley

(803) 210-5021

Newsletter Editor

Meelee Kim

(781) 736-3978


Mary Brolin

(781) 736-3906

Web Site Coordinator

Mark Parascandola

(301) 496-8584

Action Board 

Lenny Lamkin


(312) 431-9110

Fundraising   Committee

Cynthia Hallett

(510) 841-3045

APHA Inter-Section Council, Past  Chair

Diana Conti

(650) 312-0730

APHA Publication Board Chair 

Norman Giesbrecht

(416) 535-8501

APHA Science Board Representative

Michele Bloch


(301) 402-5484

Student Assembly Liaison

Andrea Frydl


(301) 594-6983