Research planned at the new center will study the non-biodegradable waste from tobacco products that accumulates on the streets, flows into storm drains and ends up on beaches.
Each year, the tobacco industry costs the world more than 600 million trees, 22 billion tons of water and produces 84 million tons of carbon dioxide. Tobacco smoke leaves carcinogenic residues in cars, homes and clothing, and tobacco waste degrades soil and contaminates water. San Diego State University’s new Center for Tobacco and the Environment (CTE), which opens Nov. 17, aims to prevent, reduce, and eliminate these and other harmful effects of tobacco.
The Center is unique as it spans across different disciplines. Together, SDSU researchers from biology, chemistry, communication, economics, geography, policy research, psychology, and public health combat the negative effects of tobacco on indoor and outdoor environments.
Planned research at the center will study the non-biodegradable waste from tobacco products that accumulates on the streets, flows into storm drains and ends up on beaches. Additional studies will focus on indoor spaces, where toxic chemical residues known as third-hand smoke can linger for years.
“The formation of the Center for Tobacco and the Environment will help us disseminate information about the impacts of tobacco on human health to policy makers and marginalized communities disproportionately affected by tobacco,” said Georg MattInaugural Co-Director of CTE and Professor of Psychology at SDSU.
In June 2021, Matt’s team also initiated the countywide Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Project. Through the project, SDSU researchers are working with local communities and governments to address tobacco product waste and create sustainable solutions to protect neighborhoods from exposure to tobacco-related pollution.
The opening of the Center coincides with the Great American Smoke, a global campaign to encourage people to quit smoking. By partnering with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Center’s translation work will support the California Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Endgame policy platform, which aims to end the commercial sales and use of tobacco by 2035.
Over the past five years, as part of the center’s work, researchers from the SDSU College of Sciences, School of Public Health, School of Communication, and College of Arts and Letters have generated more than $6.5 million in grants and published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles.
The center will foster collaborations and community engagement that can expand research into new areas, find solutions to lessen the environmental impacts of tobacco, and gain additional support from state, federal and other funding sources. philanthropic.
“SDSU has a heritage of seeking and improving not only the health of the local community, but also of engaging statewide, nationally and internationally on important public health issues” , said the co-director of the center and professor emeritus of epidemiology and biostatistics. Thomas Novotny. “Through ETC, we can significantly expand this work to support innovative scientific research and policies that can improve health for all.”