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Description of Evaluations

From the start, both California and Massachusetts incorporated evaluation mechanisms into their tobacco control programs. California developed a multidimensional evaluation structure that comprised local program assessments, in-house surveys, and an independent review. Through the “10 percent” clause, which requires local grantees to devote 10 percent of their program budgets to evaluation, the state can review the effects of programs carried out at the local level, where most CTCP activities take place. The CDHS’s in-house data-gathering efforts, meanwhile, have included the Behavior Risk Factor Survey, the California Adult Tobacco Survey, and the California Youth Tobacco Survey. CDHS contracts with the University of California San Diego (UCSD) to operate the much larger California Tobacco Survey (CTS). UCSD conducts this survey every 3 years through interviews of individuals from randomly selected households, and reaches approximately 78,000 adults and 6,000 youth. The CTS provides CDHS with statewide smoking prevalence rate estimates (broken down into county and regional estimates) as well as data on attitudinal changes (Russell 1998).

The CTCP’s enabling legislation mandated an independent evaluation of the program. The Gallup Organization has conducted this independent review, subcontracting various elements of its evaluation to Stanford University and the University of Southern California (USC). In their reviews, Gallup and its subcontractors have examined the overall impact of the program as well as the relative effectiveness of its various components (media campaigns, local initiatives, school-based programs, etc.). Other surveys used in the evaluation of the CTCP include the CDHS’s annual survey of the rate of illegal sales of tobacco products to minors and occasional surveys targeting specific issues, such as the Field Institute poll on the number of smoke-free bars in the state. The Evaluation Task Force, with members from across the United States and Canada, advises the state on evaluation efforts (Independent Evaluation Consortium 2002; Russell 1998).

Massachusetts has used a similar multidimensional approach to evaluating the MTCP’s success in reducing tobacco use. From October 1993 through March 1994, MTCP conducted the Massachusetts Tobacco Survey, a baseline survey that collected data on tobacco use among adults and youth through randomized telephone interviews. Beginning in March 1995, MTCP began conducting the Massachusetts Adult Tobacco Survey, a monthly follow-up cross-sectional survey, to monitor changes in tobacco use and related attitudes. In addition, along with the RWJF, the MTCP funded longitudinal surveys to evaluate the program’s impact on adults and youth. Finally, like California, Massachusetts commissioned an independent assessment of its tobacco control program. In evaluating the success of the

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