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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 5, pp 370–375 | Cite as

Tobacco Control Interest Groups and Their Influence on Parliamentary Committees in Canada

  • Robyn E. Hastie
  • Anita R. Kothari
Qualitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to determine how tobacco control interest groups influence tobacco policy decision-making through submissions and presentations to parliamentary committees.

Methods

A qualitative content analysis was used to examine the presentations and submissions on tobacco-related legislation made to parliamentary committees between 1996 and 2004. The sample was identified from the public list of tobacco-related bills tabled in both the House of Commons and the Senate; the Government of Canada website and LEGISinfo were used to determine which committee reviewed the relevant bill. Committee clerks were asked to send submissions and presentations related to specific bills identified through LEGISinfo. Submissions and presentations were scanned and entered into QSR N6 software for coding. The coding instrument was adapted from previous studies employing qualitative content analysis. Montini and Bero’s recommendations were used to evaluate the submissions and presentations.

Results

Tobacco control interest groups did present scientific evidence to support tobacco control. However, they underused credible witnesses to present information at meetings. The topics presented by tobacco control interests groups were usually relevant to the bill being discussed.

Discussion

Tobacco control interest groups employed some of the strategies suggested by Montini and Bero in their attempt to influence parliamentary committees through submissions and presentations. They did include scientific evidence in their submissions; however, they could improve their strategies in the area of using credible witnesses, such as scientists and medical experts. Incorporating Montini and Bero’s recommendations into lobbying efforts may increase success in influencing committees.

Key words

Public health lobbying tobacco consumer advocacy federal government Canada 

Résumé

Objectifs

Déterminer comment les groupes d’intérêts antitabac influencent les décisions politiques liées au tabagisme dans leurs présentations aux comités parlementaires.

Méthode

Nous avons analysé le contenu qualitatif des présentations sur la législation antitabac faites devant les comités parlementaires entre 1996 et 2004. Notre échantillon était extrait de la liste publique des projets de loi sur le tabac déposés à la Chambre des communes et au Sénat; pour déterminer quels comités avaient examiné ces projets de loi, nous avons consulté le site Web du gouvernement du Canada et LEGISinfo. Nous avons demandé aux greffiers des comités de nous envoyer les présentations liées aux projets de loi trouvés dans LEGISinfo. Ces documents ont été numérisés et saisis avec le logiciel QSR N6 pour être codés. Notre outil de codage était inspiré d’études antérieures reposant sur des analyses de contenu qualitatives. Pour évaluer les présentations, nous avons utilisé les recommandations de Montini et Bero.

Résultats

Les groupes d’intérêts antitabac ont fourni des preuves scientifiques à l’appui de la lutte contre le tabagisme. Cependant, ils auraient pu faire davantage appel à des témoins crédibles pour présenter l’information lors des réunions. Les thèmes abordés par les groupes d’intérêts antitabac étaient généralement en rapport avec le projet de loi débattu.

Discussion

Les groupes d’intérêts antitabac ont employé certaines des stratégies suggérées par Montini et Bero pour influencer les comités parlementaires dans leurs présentations. Ils ont fourni des preuves scientifiques dans leurs documents, mais ils auraient pu améliorer leurs stratégies en faisant appel à des témoins crédibles (scientifiques ou experts en médecine). En appliquant les recommandations de Montini et Bero aux activités de lobbying, ils pourraient accroître leur influence sur les comités.

Mots clés

santé publique lobbying tabac protection des consommateurs gouvernement fédéral Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robyn E. Hastie
    • 1
  • Anita R. Kothari
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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