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The Institute for Global Tobacco Control Turns 25

The milestone highlights IGTC’s work and resources generated to support urgent tobacco control action worldwide


Since its founding in 1998, the Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) has been guided by a mission to generate evidence to inform efforts to effectively end the tobacco epidemic as soon as possible. Over that time, IGTC has served as a global leader, working to empower policymakers and public health professionals with the best available information on which to base policy interventions.

For 25 years, the Institute’s work has supported the implementation of 100% smoke-free public places, restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, tobacco tax strategies, effective packaging policies to curb demand, and measures to reduce product appeal.

“We know how to prevent tobacco-caused death and how to save 8 million lives around the world each year,” says Joanna Cohen, PhD, director of the Institute. “We have indisputable evidence that policies, like 100% smoke-free public places, comprehensive advertising bans, and raising tobacco taxes, can help prevent people from starting to use tobacco products and support those who are addicted to nicotine and want to stop.”

A partner in the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use and a Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization, IGTC is a part of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Through its 3-pillar approach consisting of knowledge generation, evaluation and surveillance, and capacity building, to date IGTC has:

  • Published more than 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • Shared its research at key convenings via of 270 posters and presentations during the past ten years alone
  • Collected and systematically coded more than 6,600 packs as part of the Tobacco Pack Surveillance System (TPackSS)
  • Synthesized information on country-level laws regulating e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, and nicotine pouches from 100+ countries via its Policy Scans
  • Disseminated more than 160 videos including lectures, tutorials, and study highlights through its YouTube channel
  • Granted more than 8,400 registered users access to its free online courses including “Global Tobacco Control: Learning from the Experts,” available in eight languages
  • Benefited more than 2,100 professionals worldwide through its global tobacco control leadership program

To mark the occasion, IGTC founding director Jonathan M. Samet will deliver a lecture, “Global Tobacco Control: Looking Back, Looking Forward,” on September 19, 2023. A pulmonary physician and epidemiologist who is a current professor and former Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, Dr. Samet also served as chair of the Department of Epidemiology of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health from 1994-2008. A recording of the event, which will be hosted in person and streamed live via Zoom, will be forthcoming on IGTC’s YouTube channel.

Samet and Cohen will also appear on the Public Health on Call podcast to discuss past and present tobacco control priorities. The episode is scheduled to air on September 25, 2023 (now available to stream). 

“We are grateful to IGTC’s founder, our staff, and our many partnering organizations and individuals from around the world who are dedicated to putting an end to tobacco-caused death and disease,” Cohen says.

“Together, it is up to us to finish this fight.”

For details, visit the Institute’s websites: and

Follow the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #IGTC25