The CTCR was established by The Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK) in 1999. As tobacco is the largest preventable cause of cancer death, tobacco control, based on sound research, is a priority for Cancer Research UK. Ensuring that children are not lured into smoking by clever promotional techniques is the key to preventing these avoidable deaths in the future. The Centre for Tobacco Control Research is part of the Institute for Social Marketing.
Remit of the Centre for Tobacco Control Research
Tobacco causes immense damage to our society. One in two of those smokers who persist with the habit die as a result. In the UK alone this amounts to more than six million deaths since the early 1950s, when the health consequences were first properly understood. Despite this toll, smoking is still remarkably prevalent. In the UK, for instance, over a quarter of the population continue to smoke, and this proportion rises to three quarters in our poorest communities.
Tobacco control addresses smoking at three levels: it addresses individual smoking behaviour, encouraging young people not to start smoking and smokers to quit; it investigates and challenges the harmful effects of tobacco marketing; and it guides appropriate public health policy. The Centre for Tobacco Control Research (CTCR) at the Institute for Social Marketing conducts applied research in all three areas. As the first research centre dedicated to tobacco control in the UK, it provides the research needed by policy makers and public health to respond quickly and flexibly to developments in the dynamic field of tobacco control.
The CTCR's aims are to:
Develop and evaluate interventions designed to prevent smoking uptake and encourage cessation.
Investigate the processes and effects of the tobacco industry's marketing activities, and on the basis of this undertaking, determine the most effective ways to counter them.
Evaluate specific tobacco control policies and identify those that successfully change smoking behaviour.