Background: Inequity in the use of tobacco and differential responses to tobacco policies is a pattern in both high and low income countries and a direct cause of health inequity. It is essential to consider tailoring tobacco control initiatives with a view to reducing these inequities by catering to vulnerable sub-populations.
Aim: This presentation describes the development and testing of an equity framework for use in both practice and policy development in conjunction with a tobacco reduction strategy in a large Canadian province.
Strategy: This equity framework was collaboratively finalized and tested in partnership with regional and province-wide stakeholders in policy, community based and clinical settings. A critical approach was used to enable the consistent integration of issues linked to equity and gender in tobacco control strategies.
Programme: The equity framework was developed based on a literature review, review of existing generic equity tools, and a series of consultations and meetings with stakeholders held in 2013. The framework was applied and evaluated in regional settings for a range of tobacco reduction program challenges, and stakeholders were then trained and engaged in applying the framework.
Outcomes: The equity framework includes a tool and workbook. The tool is a chart that leads stakeholders through a process of critical thinking about the application of an equity sensitive approach to specific tobacco reduction issues and facilitates the accumulation of data and better practices for addressing tobacco reduction among sub-population of interest. Details of the process and consultation results will be shared, with a view to discussing how similar processes and tools might be useful and/or adapted in other jurisdictions, to identify sub populations responses to tobacco and tobacco control, seek out pertinent data and develop counteracting measures to reduce health inequity related to tobacco use by using an equity and gender approach.