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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Special Review of Florida's Tobacco Pilot Program, Report No. 99-54, May 2000
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  • Florida’s Tobacco Pilot Program is new, and preliminary data about its impacts are encouraging.  However, it is uncertain whether substantial declines in smoking among middle school youth will be sustained over time as they enter adulthood.  To more fully assess the Program's impact on youth smoking, longitudinal data are needed.
  • To ensure that the Program is operating efficiently, future evaluations need to provide more information on each component.  Furthermore, the Program needs to re-examine the evaluation methodologies currently being used to ensure that the evaluations produce useful information.  Finally, the Department should use the evaluation results to create a prioritized listing of activities that could be supported at various funding levels.
  • In addition, the Pilot Program should use competitive and objective methodologies to select contractors to the greatest extent possible.  In instances in which this is not practical, documentation should be maintained to evidence the rationale for non-competitive selection.  Furthermore, the Department should continue its efforts to enhance its policies and procedures for contract development and ensure that contract deliverables and standards are appropriately linked to the performance evaluation process.
  • Based on the success of the Pilot Program as indicated by the preliminary data and the outcomes achieved by other states, the Legislature should consider extending the Pilot Program’s tobacco prevention efforts for a period of time, such as two or three years, and provide a recurring budget during this period.
  • The Secretary of the Department of Health provided a written response to our preliminary report.  In his response the secretary stated ". . . most of the issues identified in the report are in the process of being addressed or resolved."

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