(33/97) "If we can just 'stall' new unfriendly legislations, the scoreboard is already in our favour": transnational tobacco companies and ingredients disclosure in Thailand.
OBJECTIVES: To review the strategies employed by overseas cigarette manufacturers operating in Thailand to obstruct the passage and subsequent enforcement of national public health legislation, specifically the ingredients disclosure provision of the 1992 Tobacco Products Control Act. METHODS: Analysis of previously confidential tobacco industry documents relevant to non-compliance with the ingredients disclosure legislation. RESULTS: Requirement for disclosure of ingredients contained in cigarettes contained in the Tobacco Products Control Act was identified by transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) not only as a significant threat to their operations in Thailand, but as a dangerous global precedent. Industry documents reveal a determined campaign to block, stall, or amend the proposed regulation during the legislative process. Industry representatives petitioned the Ministry of Health to revise the requirement from by brand disclosure to a more palatable by company submission. Strategies were adapted in the wake of the passage of the Act. Most significantly, the industry in concert with embassies in Bangkok threatened the Thai government with appeals to international trade bodies on the grounds of violation of international agreements. Industry documents also reveal that as submission of ingredient lists appeared unavoidable, leading companies operating in Thailand endeavoured to confound the disclosure requirement by disguising ingredients and reformulating brand recipes. CONCLUSIONS: The evidence presented highlights the importance of ingredients regulation and demonstrates how health policy can be transformed during its implementation. A greater understanding of trade agreements emerges as a priority for global tobacco control. (+info)
(34/97) Placing oral health on the health care agenda: lessons learned from the United States.
A symposium on Access and Care: Towards a National Oral Health Strategy was held May 13-15, 2004, in Toronto. The symposium's objectives were to develop key recommendations for a national oral health policy, and to identify knowledge, service and funding gaps in oral health. Dr. Dushanka Kleinman was the keynote speaker. A summary report of the symposium and selected presentations are available at http://individual.utoronto.ca/accessandcare. (+info)
(35/97) Smoke-free airlines and the role of organized labor: a case study.
Labor unions play an important role in debates about smoke-free worksites. We investigated the role of flight attendants and their unions in creating smoke-free air travel. We used case study methodology to search tobacco industry documents and labor union periodicals and to interview key informants (i.e., people identified as having first-hand information and experience in the campaign to make airlines smoke free). We then compared findings across these data sources. Tobacco industry strategies against the establishment of smoke-free worksites failed in the case of airlines, largely because of the efforts of flight attendants and their unions. Other factors contributed to the failure but likely would have been insufficient to derail industry efforts without strong stands by the flight attendants. This case illustrates the potential for successful partnerships between unions and tobacco control policy advocates when developing smoke-free worksite policies. (+info)
(36/97) Political coalitions for mutual advantage: the case of the Tobacco Institute's Labor Management Committee.
In 1984, the tobacco workers' union and the Tobacco Institute, which represents US tobacco companies, formed a labor management committee (LMC). The institute relied on LMC unions to resist smoke-free worksite rules. In a review of the internal tobacco industry documents now publicly available, we found that the LMC succeeded for 2 primary reasons. First, the LMC furthered members' interests, allowing them to overcome institutional barriers to policy success. Second, the LMC used an "institutions, ideas, and interests" strategy to encourage non-LMC unions to oppose smoke-free worksite rules. While public health advocates missed an opportunity to partner with unions on the issue of smoke-free worksites during the era studied, they can use a similar strategy to form coalitions with unions. (+info)
(37/97) The tobacco industry's worldwide ETS consultants project: European and Asian components.
BACKGROUND: The tobacco industry has formed regional environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) consultants programs in order to generate controversy on the issue of secondhand smoke (SHS) in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Only those countries in which the industry foresaw SHS restrictions were included. This paper describes the European and Asian components of the tobacco industry's worldwide ETS consultants program. METHODS: A systematic search was carried out of tobacco industry documents available on the Internet between October 2002 and February 2004. RESULTS: Beginning in 1987, Philip Morris assembled an international ETS consultants program in collaboration with other tobacco companies based on their market shares in different regions of the world. The law firm Covington & Burling contacted and hired consultants with a wide range of expertise, usually affiliated with an academic institution, in order to avoid direct contact with the industry. The objective of the program was to influence policy makers, media and the public by providing, through their consultants, 'accurate' (pro-industry) information concerning smoking regulations in public places and workplaces, indoor air quality and ventilation standards, and scientific claims regarding SHS. Consultants also conducted research related to SHS and organized and attended regional and international symposiums related to SHS without acknowledging industry funding. CONCLUSIONS: Despite evidence that the issue of smoke-free environments was close to emerging within the general public throughout the world in the late 1980s, the tobacco industry used its well-organized network of consultants to avoid SHS regulations in most of the world. (+info)
(38/97) Childhood injury prevention: intervention in the Bedouin city of Rahat.
For several years, the National Center for Children's Health and Safety (Beterem) has worked on many levels to promote safety and prevent injury of the children in Israel. As part of intervention programs in 20 communities around Israel, this paper describes a 1-year, multidisciplinary, multistrategic childhood safety promotion and injury prevention project. The project took place in the Bedouin city of Rahat in the Southern part of Israel, the Negev, conducted by a local safety coordinator. This specific intervention study took place from March 2003 to March 2004. The main goal was to identify hazards and dangerous obstacles in public places in Rahat, then remove or repair the obstacles found, in order to secure a safe public environment for children. "Obstacle" was defined as any barrier that could endanger the safety of a child. Ten examples are used to illustrate this applied research project, and 80% of the problems were solved within the project period (time to solve between 1 week to 3 months, depending on various factors). We recommend the involvement of a safety coordinator from the community to focus on safety hazards for children, the use of a documentation diary to log the time frame, and also the use of pictures to illustrate the hazards and the changes, or to use as arguments in the lobbying process. (+info)
(39/97) The power of paperwork: how Philip Morris neutralized the medical code for secondhand smoke.
A new medical diagnostic code for secondhand smoke exposure became available in 1994, but as of 2004 it remained an invalid entry on a common medical form. Soon after the code appeared, Philip Morris hired a Washington consultant to influence the governmental process for creating and using medical codes. Tobacco industry documents reveal that Philip Morris budgeted more than $2 million for this "ICD-9 Project." Tactics to prevent adoption of the new code included third-party lobbying, Paperwork Reduction Act challenges, and backing an alternative coding arrangement. Philip Morris's reaction reveals the importance of policy decisions related to data collection and paperwork. (+info)
(40/97) Tobacco industry influence on the definition of tobacco related disorders by the American Psychiatric Association.
OBJECTIVE: The Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, third edition (DSM-III), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1980, included the first official definitions by the APA of tobacco dependence and tobacco withdrawal. Tobacco industry efforts to influence the DSM-III were investigated. METHOD: Searches of previously secret tobacco industry documents, primarily the University of California San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library and British American Tobacco collections. Additional information was collected through discussions with editors of DSM-III, and library and general internet searches. RESULTS: The tobacco companies regarded the inclusion of tobacco dependence as a diagnosis in DSM-III as an adverse event. It worked to influence the content of the DSM-III and its impact following publication. These efforts included public statements and private lobbying of DSM-III editors and high ranking APA officers by prominent US psychiatrists with undisclosed ties to the tobacco industry. Following publication of DSM-III, tobacco companies contracted with two US professors of psychiatry to organise a conference and publish a monograph detailing controversies surrounding DSM-III. CONCLUSIONS: The tobacco industry and its allies lobbied to narrow the definition of tobacco dependence in serial revisions of DSM-III. Following publication of DSM-III, the industry took steps to try to mitigate its impact. These actions mirror industry tactics to influence medical research and policy in various contexts worldwide. Such tactics slow the spread of a professional and public understanding of smoking and health that otherwise would reduce smoking, smoking induced disease, and tobacco company profits. (+info)