Cigarette Restitution Fund at Johns Hopkins

There is no more exciting time to be a part of cancer medicine and prevention than now. We are now beginning to see the pay off from decades of dedicated work against cancer. Over the past three years, despite the growth and aging of our population, the total number of cancer deaths has declined for the first time.

Still, for far too many people, more than a million a year, cancer remains a very real threat to health, happiness, and to life itself. And, when we consider how many of us have a family member or close friend with some form of cancer, it is clear that the collection of diseases we call cancer touches everyone.


What's New?

The Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund

Dr John Groopman explains how the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund has transformed cancer research at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and continues to be a source of new therapies and strategies to reduce the burden of cancer in Maryland.

For information on recent CRF news and events, visit the Cancer Prevention & Control website.
You can also download the CONQUEST, a publication of the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund and report on the CRF funds at Johns Hopkins.

The following is a sampling of CRF investigators whose research has made headlines.

So, while there is much we have accomplished, there is yet more we need to do. I truly believe, that with the continued support from the state and other donors, the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will shape the future that will ultimately see us conquer cancer.

While cancer is now recognized as a genetic disease, investigators also realize that most of the gene mutations that lead to cancer are acquired, not inherited. As a result, this provides many opportunities for prevention through behavioral and environmental modifications to derail cancer initiation. Many of the most common cancers are caused by environmental and behavioral factors that are known and potentially alterable. Among these things are HPV infection, inflammation, poor diet, and smoking.

Collaborations with our many partners throughout Maryland have allowed us to educate our citizens about cancer prevention and detection. Our goal is not only to teach people about cancer screening services, but to guide and support them as they put what they’ve learned into place.

William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.

Marion I. Knott Professor and Director
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

John D. Groopman, Ph.D.

Anna M. Baetjer Professor and Chair of Environmental Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Research Grants

The research component of the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program (CRFP) has provided an unprecedented opportunity for Johns Hopkins, through its nationally top-ranked Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, to apply our world-class research specifically to the cancer problems in the State of Maryland.

Our leadership and researchers are dedicated to using these funds to the full extent. CRF investigators speak for themselves with their increasing recruitment, effective education, screening, and treatment services, along with working collaborativley with clinicians and researchers outside of Johns Hopkins.

To date, 60 Translational Research Awards, 24 Faculty Retention Awards, and 48 Faculty Recruitment awards have been made to Hopkins investigators through the CRFP.

Apply for a Grant

*Please note, these funds are only for investigators at Johns Hopkins*

Applications for funding through the Cigarette Restitution Fund research grant to Johns Hopkins are reviewed and awarded periodically. The focus should be on translational research that moves a laboratory discovery into a patient or population research setting or an observation in patients or populations into a laboratory environment. Research should be targeted toward reducing morbidity and mortality rates for breast, cervical, colon, lung, oral, melanoma, and prostate cancers in Maryland, and specifically within minority populations. Review criteria include quality and innovation of a scientific proposal and the relevance to the mission of the program established by the Cigarette Restitution Fund. Recipients will be announced in future issues of Conquest. Application procedures are as follows:

Applications should be submitted online ( or to:

Norma Kanarek, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Grant
Executive Director, Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Grant
The Bloomberg School of Public Health

Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Room 1110
615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205

Phone: (410) 955-3758
Fax: (410) 955-0617
Email: [email protected]

Public Heath

Community-Based Screening Programs

The Baltimore City Health Department, in its 1999 Annual Report, cited cancer as the leading cause of death among African-American males. This report, as well as the Maryland Department of Health’s Baseline Cancer Report in August 2000, confirmed that African-Americans bear a disproportionate share of the cancer burden. The disparity in prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates for Baltimore City is among the greatest nationwide. The Johns Hopkins Cigarette Restitution Fund (CRF) Public Health Grant addressed this public health problem by focusing on prostate cancer in Baltimore’s African-American and other medically underserved populations. Cancer prevention, by both education and screening, was conducted through collaborations with community-based and faith-based partners throughout Baltimore City.

Under the direction of the Baltimore City Community Health Coalition, Hopkins clinicians collaborated with colleagues at the University of Maryland, the Baltimore City Health Department, and the Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to achieve the goals of the Baltimore City Cancer Plan at Johns Hopkins (BCCP). The BCCP provided no-cost prostate cancer education, screening, diagnosis and treatment for uninsured and underinsured residents of Baltimore City. Community-based and Hopkins-based physicians performed prostate cancer screening that involved two tests: 1) a blood test that detects the prostate specific antigen or PSA, and 2) a digital rectal exam or DRE. The testing was done at various community sites and clinics (including Wald Clinic, Shepherd’s Clinic, East Baltimore Medical Center (EBMC), and Baltimore City Housing and Development). Case management and necessary follow-up care or treatment was also provided.

Hopkins broadened its program to include community education, screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer through a grant from the Avon Foundation. Johns Hopkins also offered similar services for colorectal cancer, through a project grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to DHMH. Through this program, five local Hospitals, including Johns Hopkins provided no-cost colon cancer screening for uninsured and underinsured residents of Baltimore City.  Currently, faculty from the Johns Hopkins gastrointestinal program collaborate with representatives from the Baltimore City Health Department through its CRF Public Health Grant to provide colonoscopy screening to uninsured Baltimore residents.

The Kimmel Cancer Center no longer receives direct CRF support for cancer screening in uninsured and minority populations, but it remains a key initiative for our Center.  Johns Hopkins Priority Partners, a Medicaid MCO with more than 185,000 participants, and Johns Hopkins community physicians, who care for more than 260,000 patients, continue to meet the needs of Maryland’s underserved populations by providing screenings for colon, prostate, breast, and cervical cancers.

The Cigarette Restitution Fund: What is it?

In the late 1990’s, attorneys from nearly every state in the U.S. brought suit against America’s cigarette manufacturers. They sought reimbursement for the huge costs to states incurred due to smoking-related diseases like cancer. Months of testimony, including evidence that the manufacturers had known for many decades the deadly and addictive nature of their product, were presented. In the end, the court ruled in favor of the states, slapping the nation’s major cigarette manufacturers with $53 billion in penalties. The award, known as the Master Settlement Agreement, was split between 46 states, including Maryland, five territories, and Washington, D.C.

In 1999, Maryland’s Governor Parris N. Glendening and the General Assembly were among the first of their lawsuit counterparts to use their award establishing the multi-million dollar Cigarette Restitution Fund (CRF). State leaders have continued to allocate funds throughout our state for smoking-cessation programs and education, crop conversion assistance for tobacco farmers, cancer research, prevention, education, screening, and treatment, and other smoking and cancer-related initiatives.

A major component of the CRF was the creation of the Statewide Academic Health Center grant, through which cancer research funds for the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins were appropriated. Grant funds under this initiative support translational research and are aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality due to the seven targeted cancers- breast, cervical, colon, lung, melanoma, oral and prostate- in Maryland.

Grant Award Winners

Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Research Grant Awardees