Mapping US government tobacco control leadership: Networked for success?

Scott J. Leischow*, Douglas A. Luke, Nancy Mueller, Jenine K. Harris, Paris Ponder, Stephen Marcus, Pamela I. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In order to better understand how tobacco control efforts are coordinated across agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), we assessed tobacco control-related communication between tobacco control leaders across DHHS.Cross-sectional surveys were collected from individuals representing 11 DHHS agencies, and social network analyses were used to assess linkages and map agencies' tobacco control communication.Individuals within the Office of the Secretary and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were most central to the network, and those of highest rank were most likely to be central to the network (F = 4.03, p = .024). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Food and Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration had no or almost no contact with other agencies. There was considerable between-agency contact variability, and the CDC was the most central agency.Tobacco control communication across DHHS agencies was present but extremely variable. This inconsistency may compromise the ability of the DHHS to address tobacco use, a critical public health problem, in a coordinated and efficient fashion. In light of the new leadership at DHHS, this analysis describes a systems approach that can be reimplemented as a means of understanding and improving communication and collaboration to improve public health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-894
JournalNicotine & Tobacco Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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