The functions and activities of each component of the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP) are supported by data collected and analyzed by the epidemiologist. The information obtained also addresses comprehensive tobacco control. Established sources of data include several national population-based health surveillance systems which include elements pertaining to tobacco use. Survey tools have also been designed and used by TPEP to collect more detailed or topic-specific data in order to meet program needs with respect to planning and evaluation.
National surveillance systems utilized by TPEP include:
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
Hawai'i Youth Tobacco Survey (HYTS)
Hawai'i Health Survey (HHS)
Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Cost (SAMMEC)
Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS)
HYTS data are collected by TPEP and forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for processing. The processed data are returned to TPEP; however, the CDC may report state level data periodically in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Data from the systems described above have made research possible for topics or projects such as
Youth tobacco use
Youth smoking initiation
Promotion of smoke-free environments
TPEP-initiated surveys include ongoing endeavors as well as point-in-time projects. Examples of ongoing work are the Mall Intercept Survey (to evaluate the impact of media campaigns on teens) and the Media Tracking Survey (designed for TPEP to evaluate the impact of media campaigns on teens and adults). An example of a point-in-time project is the Pre-natal Smoking Survey conducted at clinics. Since the impact of smoke-free regulations is of particular concern to the hospitality industry, point-in-time surveys have also been conducted at a neighbor island restaurant (to evaluate the impact of the smoke-free ordinance) and at Hawai'i hotels (to evaluate the impact of smoke-free policies there).
While major partners and clients of TPEP include the Neighbor Island and O'ahu Tobacco Control Coalitions, the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai'i, and the Cancer Information Service, the program offers assistance with tobacco-related data and research to the general community.