Obtaining resources for evidence-based public health initiatives at the local level: insights from the Central Sydney Tobacco Control Plan

Aust N Z J Public Health. 1999 Feb;23(1):56-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842x.1999.tb01205.x.


Objective: In response to inquiries regarding the processes of developing a Tobacco Control Plan (TCP) for the Central Sydney Area Health Service (which in 1997 allocated dedicated funding of $ 800,000 over 2 1/2 years to implement the plan), this article describes the strengths and weaknesses of the TCP and outlines the process which contributed to its funding.

Conclusions: Consistent with national and state priorities, the TCP recommended strategies based on best available evidence in the four action areas: reducing sales of cigarettes to minors, marketing, passive smoking and smoking cessation. Funding of this amount for a single public health issue at a local level represents a unique achievement in the application of an evidence-based approach to population health.

Implications: Key elements of our advocacy methods included the involvement of all key primary health care and clinical stakeholders; comprehensive background research to identify evidence-based strategies; careful attention to budget options; strategic lobbying of senior staff and decision makers; the proposal for a multidisciplinary management structure for the TCP and specifications for funding allocation and evaluation. Early achievements and other reflections are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising
  • Australia
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Promotion / economics*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Lobbying
  • Preventive Health Services / economics
  • Preventive Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Public Health
  • Smoking Prevention*