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Applying the Social Ecological Model in Tobacco Control and Climate Change

Course Status

East Baltimore
3rd Term
Health, Behavior and Society
Academic Year
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method
Class Time(s)
Tuesday, 3:30 - 6:20pm
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
Tobacco use and climate change are causing immeasurable damage to the health of entire populations as well as causing enormous economic, environmental and societal impacts. Both are exacerbating existing health disparities and placing severe health burdens on already vulnerable populations. There are important lessons to be learned from the over 50 year tobacco control efforts in the US and globally. By highlighting effective approaches (policy, litigation, media and advocacy), using the social ecological model of change, and addressing the interference from powerful industries, a model of effective public health movements will be illustrated.
Compares the fields of tobacco control and climate change by describing the lessons learned from tobacco control—one of the most successful public health movements. Provides an overview of tobacco control research and advocacy approaches that form a comprehensive public health strategy and considers the use of the social ecological model to address the threats posed by climate change. Explores how both issues involve economic, social, environmental, and behavioral forces that require multi-level approaches from multiple sectors. Offers insight into industry and private sector interference that obfuscates scientific evidence, confuses the public, and stalls effective regulatory policy for both fields of study. Encourages critical comparative skills throughout to discuss how to improve public health approaches.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain the complexities of these two global health problems and the initiatives to control them
  2. Identify interventions at every level of the social ecological model that are applicable to tobacco control and climate change
  3. Compare and contrast how these strategies have been employed and implemented and discuss the comparative effectiveness by topic
  4. Evaluate the role of powerful industries that distort and obscure the science and delay action
  5. Discuss the role of the media and stakeholders in how the public understands these two issues
  6. Identify and discuss future directions for these global health problems
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 50% Final Paper
  • 40% Assignments
  • 10% Participation