Psychologists' contributions to tobacco control

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Type: News

Date Published: 03/26/2014

In the 50 years since the 1964 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, psychologists have studied the basic science of addiction, designed and tested treatments, masterminded anti-smoking public health strategies and countered "Big Tobacco" advertising campaigns with creative counter-ads.

ORI has been a leader in tobacco cessation and prevention since the mid-1970's. Oregon Research Institute psychologist Ed Lichtenstein, Ph.D., played an important role in shifting cessation efforts to reach large populations -- of viewing the disease through the lens of public health.  In 1980, he was invited to work for a year with the National Cancer Institute, whose public health perspective on cancer prevention and reduction — viewing the disease from a population-level perspective and developing strategies based on which ones might have the biggest impact — inspired him to consider a similar approach to smoking cessation.

The March 2014 American Psychological Association Monitor on Psychology highlights the important contributions made by psychologists over the past 50 years with 2 articles:  Leading the way to better health and Thank you for not smoking