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California Expert LOI Review

TRDRP seeks to fund research that will inform the Endgame Policy Platforman effort to build a movement across California that prepares and transitions communities to end the commercial tobacco epidemic for all Californians by 2035. The goal of the campaign is to eradicate the tobacco industry’s influence and the harm caused by tobacco products to the health, environment, and economic well-being of California’s diverse populations. A critical component of the campaign is its focus on youth and communities disproportionately burdened by commercial tobacco.

To help identify research that directly and immediately supports the Endgame Policy Platform, TRDRP will conduct a blinded, non-scientific Letter of Intent (LOI) review. While LOI materials will be used by TRDRP staff to determine eligibility (e.g. is the proposed research tobacco-related?) and to prepare for the scientific peer review, TRDRP will also ask experts in California tobacco control to review LOI materials to assess the immediate relevance of the proposed work on the Endgame Policy Platform. If they deem the proposed work to be of potential near-term high impact to CA tobacco control efforts, this will be included as a programmatic consideration when making funding decisions.   *Your answer to this Impact Question will be a key focus of their review.* If you believe that your proposed research would be of immediate relevance to efforts aimed at ending the commercial tobacco epidemic for all Californians, particularly for youth and communities disproportionately burdened by commercial tobacco, please describe how the proposed research would support one or more of the following Campaign and other California tobacco control goals:   

  1. Countering the tobacco industry’s influence and tactics that are aimed to ensure easy availability of their products.  Examples of goals include:  
    1. Reducing tobacco retail licensing  
    2. implementing local flavor bans;  
    3. reducing economic impacts of tobacco sales restrictions on small businesses; 
    4. avoiding unintended consequences of tobacco-free policies, such as criminalization or discriminatory enforcement 
    5. deglamorizing tobacco use especially in social and entertainment media;  
    6. preventing marijuana use from undercutting past and future tobacco control progress. 
  2. Countering the structural, political, and social factors that lead to health disparities, and that promote and sustain tobacco use and disease in California. Examples of goals include:  
    1. Identifying incentives and disincentives to reduce the tobacco industry’s influences;  
    2. promoting anti-tobacco social norm change without impinging upon the sacred use of tobacco;  
    3. integrating tobacco-free living elements into community planning, economic development, and redevelopment; 
    4. reducing exposure to secondhand smoke/aerosol, tobacco smoke/aerosol residue (thirdhand smoke), and tobacco product waste. 
  3. Providing evidence-based tobacco use prevention and cessation strategies for California’s diverse schools and communities.  Examples of goals include:  
    1. Reducing the availability of tobacco products;  
    2. providing culturally, linguistically, and age-appropriate cessation services;  
    3. ensuring access to cessation pharmacotherapy and behavioral counseling particularly for youth and communities disproportionately burdened by commercial tobacco;  
    4. achieving Medi-Cal reimbursement of all forms of cessation treatment. 

Evaluation instructions for CA Impact reviewers 

The California tobacco control experts will be given the following instructions when evaluating the LOIs.

Please answer the question: If this study is funded, completed and data is produced, what impact will it have on ending the commercial tobacco epidemic for all Californians or other current tobacco control efforts in the State?

The goal of this assessment is to identify applications whose potential for impact is so high that it warrants programmatic consideration for funding even if moderate or fixable scientific flaws are identified during scientific merit review (‘high near-term impact’).  

In making your assessment, consider the stated goals of the Local Lead Agency Campaign to End Commercial Tobacco and other California tobacco control organizations in their effort to end the commercial tobacco epidemic for all. Research that is likely to benefit youth and/or communities that are disproportionately burdened by commercial tobacco is of particular interest to TRDRP. 

Evaluation Choices for Impact Question

  • High Near-Term Impact – This project is directly relevant to current policies or practices being actively pursued by California tobacco control organizations. [should be reserved for rare cases; requires written comment by reviewer] 
  • Limited Near-Term Impact – This project could indirectly impact current or future CA tobacco control efforts, or basic research that may lead to future treatments or lessening the burden of tobacco-related disease. [this is not a negative; TRDRP expects that most applications will fall in this category