Current Strategy Evaluation Projects

Modelling Intervention and Strategy Effects

Start Date: April 2011
Expected Date of Completion: March 2013 (phase 1)
Principal Investigator and Project Lead: Robert Schwartz
Principal Investigators Involved: Sue Bondy, Joanna Cohen, Roberta Ferrence, John Garcia
Project Team: Bo Zhang
Source of Funding: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Project Description

System Dynamics Models allow policymakers to forecast the effects of strengthening existing policies, adopting new policies, and weakening or reversing policy measures. This multi-year project is developing a model to simulate the effects of tobacco control interventions on initiation, consumption, quitting and possibly on morbidity and mortality in Ontario.

  • Extensive review of literature
  • Interviews with key informants including model developers and users
  • Establishment of an expert advisory group
  • Development of tobacco policy inventory by year
  • Development of database (current, never and former smokers by age and sex over time)
  • Adaptation of basic model to Ontario specific contexts
  • Population of model
  • Model validation
  • Model refinement

Survey of Public Health Unit Tobacco Control Activity

Start Date: April 2012
Expected Date of Completion: March 2013
Principal Investigator and Project Lead: K. Stephen Brown
Principal Investigators Involved: Sue Bondy, John Garcia, Robert Schwartz
Source of Funding: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Project Description

For our Strategy Evaluation and for SFO planning purposes there is a need for specific information about what Public Health Units are doing in tobacco control beyond Smoke-Free Ontario funded activity. The Comprehensive Local Tobacco Control Index (CLTCI) developed two years ago will be adapted and implemented as a cross sectional survey.

Main Research Question

What tobacco control activities are currently undertaken by Ontario’s Public Health Units?



Learning How Comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategies Work in Practice

Start Date: September 2012
Expected Date of Completion: April 2013
Principal Investigator: Robert Schwartz
Co-investigators: Michael Chaiton, Jolene Dubray, Shawn O’Connor
Source of Funding: Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with Funds from the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use

Project Description

The World Health Organization has guided FCTC signatories to focus comprehensive tobacco control efforts on the MPOWER package of six evidence-informed intervention areas: M (Monitoring); P (Protect) – Smoke-free environments; O (Offer) – Cessation programmes; W (Warn) – warning labels and mass media; E (enforce) – Advertising bans; and R (raise taxes) – Taxation. While there is evidence for each of these policies, little is known about how well they work together when applied under different contexts or how additional interventions may affect the achievement of desired outcomes.


Data collected to monitor progress in MPOWER implementation and in achieving declines in tobacco use in 173 countries afford an opportunity to learn about how different configurations of MPOWER implementation (scope, intensity, duration) are associated with successful outcomes.

Main Research Questions & Methodology

Stage One

  • An exploration of the extent to which extent of MPOWER implementation explains changes in outcomes. Variables include:
    • Changes in tobacco use prevalence since 2008
    • level of tobacco control development,
    • prevalence of tobacco use at the outset
    • possibly variables measuring tobacco industry influence

Stage Two

  • Identification of countries by three levels of change in outcome.
  • Selection of countries each of these categories for in-depth exploration of factors related to outcomes, paying particular attention to forces beyond MPOWER.
  • Case studies, including interviews with governmental, non-governmental and academic stakeholders

Performance Measurement and Evaluation Services for the Saskatchewan Tobacco Strategy

Start Date: August 2010
Expected Date of Completion: July 2013
Principal Investigator: Robert Schwartz
Project Team: Emily DiSante
Source of Funding: Saskatchewan Ministry of Health

Project Description

The Saskatchewan Tobacco Reduction Strategy adopts a comprehensive approach to advancing the three classic tobacco control goals of prevention, protection and cessation. To support Strategy implementation and further development, the Ministry of Health and partners have recognized the need to develop and implement a Performance Measurement and Evaluation Plan (PMEP). The PMEP will provide a stream of evaluative information to inform ongoing management and future decisions with an aim to maximizing the effects of the Strategy on reducing tobacco use in Saskatchewan.


Multi‐faceted evaluation and performance measurement is underway. This approach assesses the relative contribution of particular tobacco control activities and focus areas towards achieving desired initial, intermediate and long‐term outcomes of the Strategy.

  • Development of a web‐based performance measurement system to allow for micro‐level performance data collection
  • Formative and Outcome evaluation of individual interventions, using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.
  • Application of OTRU’s Tobacco Informatics Monitoring System (TIMS) to Saskatchewan data to facilitate macro‐level strategy monitoring.