The vector of the tobacco epidemic: tobacco industry practices in low and middle-income countries
- 5.8k Downloads
To understand transnational tobacco companies’ (TTCs) practices in low and middle-income countries which serve to block tobacco-control policies and promote tobacco use.
Systematic review of published research on tobacco industry activities to promote tobacco use and oppose tobacco-control policies in low and middle-income countries.
TTCs’ strategies used in low and middle-income countries followed four main themes—economic activity; marketing/promotion; political activity; and deceptive/manipulative activity. Economic activity, including foreign investment and smuggling, was used to enter new markets. Political activities included lobbying, offering voluntary self-regulatory codes, and mounting corporate social responsibility campaigns. Deceptive activities included manipulation of science and use of third-party allies to oppose smoke-free policies, delay other tobacco-control policies, and maintain support of policymakers and the public for a pro-tobacco industry policy environment. TTCs used tactics for marketing, advertising, and promoting their brands that were tailored to specific market environments. These activities included direct and indirect tactis, targeting particular populations, and introducing new tobacco products designed to limit marketing restrictions and taxes, maintain the social acceptability of tobacco use, and counter tobacco-control efforts.
TTCs have used similar strategies in high-income countries as these being described in low and middle-income countries. As required by FCTC Article 5.3, to counter tobacco industry pressures and to implement effective tobacco-control policies, governments and health professionals in low and middle-income countries should fully understand TTCs practices and counter them.
KeywordsTobacco Transnational tobacco companies Tobacco industry activity Tobacco control Low and middle-income countries
This work was supported by the Hellmann Family Fund and National Cancer Institute grant CA-87472. The funding agencies played no role in the conduct of the research or preparation of the paper.
- 1.World Health Organization (2009) Mortality and burden of disease estimates for WHO member states in 2004. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
- 2.UN General Assembly (2011) Political declaration of the high-level meeting of the general assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/66/L.1. Accessed 5 January 2012
- 5.Glantz S, Gonzalez M (2011) Effective tobacco control is key to rapid progress in reduction of non-communicable diseases. Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60615-6
- 6.World Health Organization (2008) WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008: The MPOWER package. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
- 8.Malone R (2010) The tobacco industry. In: Wiist W (ed) The bottom line or public health: tactics corporations use to influence health and health policy, and what we can do to counter them. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 155–192Google Scholar
- 9.ASH (2011) ASH Fact sheet: the UK tobacco industry. Action on smoking and health. http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_123.pdf. Accessed 10 September 2011
- 10.Shepherd P (1985) Transnational corporations and the international cigarette industry. In: Newfarmer R (ed) Profits, progress and poverty. Case studies of international industries in Latin America. University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame, Indiana, pp 79–84Google Scholar
- 25.Taylor SA (1989) Tobacco and economic growth in developing nations. Bus Contemp World (Winter):55–70Google Scholar
- 26.Holzman D (1997) Tobacco abroad: infiltrating foreign markets. Environ Health Perspec 105:178–183. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.97105178
- 28.World Health Organization (2012) WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. http://www.who.int/fctc/en/. Accessed 13 January 2012
- 31.PAHO (2002) Profits over people: tobacco industry activities to market cigarettes and undermine public health in Latin America and the Caribbean. WHO Regional Office of the Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- 38.Gilmore AB (2005) Tobacco and transition: understanding the impact of transition on tobacco use and control in the former Soviet Union. Dissertation, University of London, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 40.Alechnowicz K, Chapman S (2004) The Philippine tobacco industry: the strongest tobacco lobby in Asia. Tob Control 13(Suppl II):71–78Google Scholar
- 41.Weissman R, White A (2002) Needless harm. International Monetary fund support for tobacco privatization and for tobacco tax and tariff reduction and the cost to public health. Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- 54.Hiilamo H, Glantz SA (2011) Local Nordic tobacco interests collaborated with multinational companies to maintain a united front and undermine tobacco-control policies. Tob Control. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050149
- 71.Crosbie E, Sebrie EM, Glantz SA (2012) Tobacco industry success in costa rica: the importance of FCTC article 5.3. Salud Pública de México (in press)Google Scholar
- 74.Wakefield M, Terry-McElrath Y, Emery S, Saffer H, Chaloupka FJ, Szczypka G, Flay B, O’Malley PM, Johnston LD (2006) Effect of televised, tobacco company-funded smoking prevention advertising on youth smoking-related beliefs, intentions, and behavior. Am J Public Health 96:2154–2160PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 94.World Health Organization (2004) WHO framework convention on tobacco control, article 5.3. http://www.who.int/fctc/en/index.html. Accessed 25 November 2011
- 102.Braun S, Mejia R, Barnoya J, Gregorich SE, Pérez-Stable EJ (2011) Tobacco advertising and press coverage of smoking and health in 10 years of Argentinean newspapers. CVD Prev Control 6(3):71–80Google Scholar
- 107.Mejia R, Schoj V, Barnoya J, Flores ML, Perez-Stable EJ (2008) Tobacco industry strategies to obstruct the FCTC in Argentina. CVD Prev Control 3(4):173–179Google Scholar
- 122.Flores ML, Barnoya J, Mejia R, Alderete E, Perez-Stable EJ (2006) Litigation in Argentina: challenging the tobacco industry. Tob Control 15(2):90–96Google Scholar
- 123.Nixon ML, Mahmoud L, Glantz SA (2004) Tobacco industry litigation to deter local public health ordinances: the industry usually loses in court. Tob Control 13(1):65–73Google Scholar