Emerging Issues


Collaborating to reduce the global burden of NCDs through implementation-focused strategies

Tobacco use is responsible for about one in every 10 adult deaths worldwide and inflicts chronic illness on millions more. The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people a year. Nearly 80 percent of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.

RTI is a recognized innovator in both the planning and evaluation of public health interventions and tobacco use prevention and control programs globally. RTI’s Center for Health Policy Science and Tobacco Research provides policymakers and public health practitioners with objective state-of-the-science evidence about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of public health policies and interventions related to tobacco use and chronic disease prevention. In addition to tobacco, we look at e-cigarettes and vaping, so as to gather as much information as possible about these new modes of tobacco inhalation. 

RTI’s staff hold expertise in multiple disciplines—including economics, psychology, public health, and social work—integrated with years of tobacco control work for clients. We apply a variety of methods to study use and evaluate tobacco use prevention campaigns, while engaging key stakeholders, understanding problem goals and collecting and disseminating findings. We employ novel data sources (such as the Global Adult Tobacco Survey) to better understand beliefs, attitudes and regulation—evaluating user input to better understand this pressing public health problem.

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