Objective: The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) aims to coordinate tobacco control policies around the world that reduce tobacco consumption. The FCTC's recommended policies are likely to be effective in low- and middle-income countries. Nevertheless, policy evaluation studies are needed to determine policy impact and potential synergies across policies.
Material and methods: The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC) is an international collaboration to assess the psychosocial and behavioral impact of the FCTC's policies among adult smokers in nine countries. The ITC evaluation framework utilizes multiple country controls, a longitudinal design, and a theory-driven conceptual model to test hypotheses about the anticipated effects of given policies.
Results: ITC Project results generally confirm previous studies that form the evidence base for FCTC policy recommendations, in particular: the use of graphic warning labels; banning of "light" and "mild" descriptors; smoking bans; increasing tax and price; banning advertising; and using new cigarette product testing methods.
Conclusions: Initial findings from the ITC Project suggest that Latin American countries could use similar methods to monitor and evaluate their own tobacco control policies while contributing to the evidence base for policy interventions in other countries.