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Nats Open the Season with a Pair of Wins and a New Tobacco Use Policy that is Going Under the Radar

tobacco / health research / communication research / in the news / featured
Ah, April. DC sports fans’ hopes are high—it’s early enough the Caps haven’t gotten knocked out of the playoffs unexpectedly soon, the Wizards are in the playoffs, and the Nats are back. Not much has changed. Harper and Murphy look to be back in a groove (and Zim?!); the bullpen looks shaky. And smokeless tobacco seems to be permitted in the park. Wait, didn’t D.C. prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco at Nationals Park and other sports venues? Major League Baseball When baseball season opened earlier this week, the big news for proponents of disassociating baseball and smokeless tobacco was that state and local laws saw nearly half of Major League ballparks completely tobacco-free, including... more
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FMG Moves Up AMA Gold Top 50 List to No. 44; Exceeds 20% Growth in 2015

featured / news / blog / tobacco / risk communication
ARLINGTON, VA, June 21, 2016 – The American Marketing Association (AMA) named Fors Marsh Group, LLC (FMG)—a Washington, DC-area, research and consulting firm—as a top 50 market research firm in the 2016 AMA Gold Top 50 Report. This is the second year FMG made the list. Due to FMG’s 23% growth in 2015, the firm moved up six spots to No. 44. "Since we opened our doors in 2002, our focus has been to be a partner to our clients as they seek to make smart decisions through applied research," said Dr. Sean Marsh, chief executive officer of FMG. "Fifteen years later, our focus hasn’t changed; our growth has been made possible by an exceptionally qualified and passionate staff and loyal clients who understand the... more
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Naked and Afraid: From Reality TV to Tobacco Products Packaging?

featured / tobacco / current events / in the news / communication research
Today, on World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for plain packaging of tobacco products. Each year on May 31, WHO and partners highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for specific efforts to reduce use across the globe. The focus of conversation today is plain packaging, which WHO argues “is an important demand reduction measure that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.” WHO World No Tobacco Day | May 31 So what’s the skinny for chatter around the water... more
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FMG Research Supports Launch of New #RealCostofSmokeless Campaign to Educate Rural Youth on the Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco

featured / news / blog / tobacco / risk communication
ARLINGTON, VA – May 5 2016– At the 8th National Summit on Smokeless and Spit Tobacco, Fors Marsh Group (FMG) was on hand to support the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) expansion of its award-winning “The Real Cost” campaign. The expanded campaign, created by FDA in collaboration with Sensis Agency, will educate rural, white male teenagers about the negative health consequences associated with smokeless tobacco use. For the first time, nationally-televised messages on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use—including nicotine addiction, gum disease, tooth loss, and multiple kinds of cancer—are being highlighted through the placement of advertisements in 35 U.S. markets specifically selected to reach the campaign’s target audience. There is also a targeted digital component of the campaign that will reach youth in... more
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E-cigarettes, Teens and Advertising: A Troubling Combination

featured / blog / tobacco / risk communication
Although Zika has been capturing much of the recent media attention, for those in public health there has been another issue gaining attention and inspiring debate—electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. In a nutshell, e-cigarette use has risen while traditional cigarette smoking rates have declined—according to the CDC 12.6% of adults have at least tried an e-cigarette once. Usage increases when you look at current and recent former smokers, which is critical as e-cigarettes have been marketing as both a smoking cessation tool and a healthier alternative to conventional cigarettes. We’ve been keeping an eye on the impact the rise in e-cigarettes has and the implications for tobacco use initiation prevention and cessation, particularly for youth. Though the use of conventional cigarettes among youth has been... more
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Game Changer? Smokeless Tobacco Knocked Out of the Park in Boston

featured / tobacco / behavioral research / health research
Nationals’ Bryce Harper drew attention earlier this year when fans saw his cheek packed with what turned out to be an herbal mixture. Despite the Major League Baseball (MLB) restrictions on using chewing tobacco during televised interviews (but notably not during the game) and on carrying tobacco packages in uniform pockets, little progress has been made to disassociate baseball and chewing tobacco. The MLB player’s union has stood firm in its opposition to banning smokeless tobacco use despite health concerns and last summer’s passing of hall of famer Tony Gwynn, who attributed salivary gland cancer to his smokeless tobacco use. The union’s argument is a common one when it comes to tobacco control opposition – personal choice. New players off the field, however, are stepping... more
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Shock to the (Stable) System - Applying Dynamics to Smokeless Tobacco Use

communication research / public health / tobacco / conferences / featured
This past weekend at the Western Communication Association Convention in Spokane, WA, a colleague of mine, Josh Nelson, presented a paper titled, Toward the Scientific Study of Dynamic Communication Processes. Along with Josh, Professor John Sherry, and Esther Paik, I was fortunate enough to be one of the paper's co-authors, and I have been thinking quite a bit about what this paper can offer applied researchers and practitioners. Although the paper is primarily theoretical, its ideas offer some food for thought when approaching public health issues. As with any applied endeavor, before translating the paper's ideas into practice, some explanation is needed. What are dynamics? Dynamics refer broadly to phenomena that display time-changing patterns—in other words, dynamic processes are those that... more
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Focus Group of One - Nationals On-field Experience Provides Unique Perspective on Smokeless Tobacco

featured / health research / public health / tobacco / behavioral research / advertising research / blog
Don’t talk about work. This was the only advice my husband gave me before I headed down to the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Nationals game Monday night against the Braves (holy smokes, did that really happen?). He knew it’d be hard to resist. I’ve posted a time or two (or five) about smokeless tobacco in Major League Baseball for instance, click here. It’s the perfect storm for me. Health, behavior change, baseball. So many of my passions intersecting. Nationals Baseball Enter Steven Souza (International League MVP and Rookie of the Year, no big deal), who will catch for me. He opens with the classic DC... more
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Another Big Move by Big Tobacco: More E-cigarettes Go Nationwide

blog / tobacco / social marketing / health research / featured
If you’ve been following our blog, you may have read several blog posts over the past few months on electronic cigarettes (more commonly known as e-cigarettes). These e-cigarettes are in the middle of a long-standing debate between tobacco companies and public health advocates. Do these e-cigarettes offer a less dangerous alternative to using combustible cigarettes or is there insufficient evidence to state these as a tool to help smokers quit? Or are they another way to get nonsmokers addicted to nicotine? To add fuel to the debate, a subsidiary of Reynolds American announced June 23 that it will start distributing its Vuse e-cigarettes nationwide. NuMark, a subsidiary of Altria, also plans to distribute MarkTen, its e-cigarette brand, nationwide by the end of 2014.... more
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Coverage of Tony Gwynn’s Death Likely to Affect Perceptions of Smokeless Tobacco Risk – But in what Direction?

featured / health research / tobacco / behavioral research / advertising research / blog
Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn died much too young Monday at the age of 54, succumbing to salivary gland cancer. Gwynn had used smokeless tobacco during his 20-year career with the Padres, and his passing has people talking about the dangers of smokeless tobacco and its tie to our nation’s pastime. How the conversation is framed, however, will determine if this will be an opportunity seized or missed for prevention/cessation efforts. http://online.wsj.com/articles/tony-gwynns-death-has-mets-thinking-about-smokeless-tobacco-1402968225 Players know the risks, but they choose to use smokeless tobacco anyway. At least that’s the line they’re giving reporters. We face this challenge with our work with youth as well. It is essential for the communicator to realize that there’s a difference between... more
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World No Tobacco Day: The higher the tax, the less death and disease

tobacco / social marketing / behavioral research / current events / blog
On May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners around the world will celebrate World No Tobacco Day. This year’s theme is to raise taxes on tobacco. According to WHO, research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower-income groups and in preventing young people from starting to smoke. Increasing excise taxes on tobacco is considered to be the most cost effective tobacco control measure. The World Health Report 2010 indicated that a 50% increase in tobacco excise taxes would generate a little more than $1.4 billion in additional funds in 22 low-income countries. Hi Megan We already see the positive impact of high tobacco taxes in the United States.... more
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