(41/97) From strange bedfellows to natural allies: the shifting allegiance of fire service organisations in the push for federal fire-safe cigarette legislation.

BACKGROUND: Cigarettes are the leading cause of fatal fires in the USA and are associated with one in four fire deaths. Although the technology needed to make fire-safe cigarettes has been available for many years, progress has been slow on legislative and regulatory fronts to require the tobacco industry to manufacture fire-safe cigarettes. METHOD AND RESULTS: We conducted a case study, drawing on data from tobacco industry documents, archives, and key informant interviews to investigate tobacco industry strategies for thwarting fire-safe cigarette legislation in the US Congress. We apply a theoretical framework that posits that policymaking is the product of three sets of forces: interests, institutions, and ideas, to examine tobacco industry behaviour, with a special focus on their and others' attempts to court fire service organisations, including firefighters' unions as allies. We discuss the implications of our findings for future policy efforts related to fire-safe cigarettes and other tobacco control issues. CONCLUSIONS: Tobacco control advocates ought to: continue efforts to align key interest groups, including the firefighters unions; contest tobacco industry "diversionary" science tactics; and pursue a state based legislative strategy for fire-safe cigarettes, building towards national legislation.  (+info)

(42/97) The tobacco industry and pesticide regulations: case studies from tobacco industry archives.

Tobacco is a heavily pesticide-dependent crop. Because pesticides involve human safety and health issues, they are regulated nationally and internationally; however, little is known about how tobacco companies respond to regulatory pressures regarding pesticides. In this study we analyzed internal tobacco industry documents to describe industry activities aimed at influencing pesticide regulations. We used a case study approach based on examination of approximately 2,000 internal company documents and 3,885 pages of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. The cases involved methoprene, the ethylene bisdithiocarbamates, and phosphine. We show how the tobacco industry successfully altered the outcome in two cases by hiring ex-agency scientists to write reports favorable to industry positions regarding pesticide regulations for national (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and international (World Health Organization) regulatory bodies. We also show how the industry worked to forestall tobacco pesticide regulation by attempting to self-regulate in Europe, and how Philip Morris encouraged a pesticide manufacturer to apply for higher tolerance levels in Malaysia and Europe while keeping tobacco industry interest a secret from government regulators. This study suggests that the tobacco industry is able to exert considerable influence over the pesticide regulatory process and that increased scrutiny of this process and protection of the public interest in pesticide regulation may be warranted.  (+info)

(43/97) German tobacco industry's successful efforts to maintain scientific and political respectability to prevent regulation of secondhand smoke.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the tactics the tobacco industry in Germany used to avoid regulation of secondhand smoke exposure and to maintain the acceptance of public smoking. METHODS: Systematic search of tobacco industry documents available on the internet between June 2003 and August 2004. RESULTS: In West Germany, policymakers were, as early as the mid 1970s, well aware of the fact that secondhand smoke endangers non-smokers. One might have assumed that Germany, an international leader in environmental protection, would have led in protecting her citizens against secondhand smoke pollution. The tobacco manufacturers in Germany, however, represented by the national manufacturing organisation "Verband" (Verband der Cigarettenindustrie), contained and neutralised the early debate about the danger of secondhand smoke. This success was achieved by carefully planned collaboration with selected scientists, health professionals and policymakers, along with a sophisticated public relations programme. CONCLUSIONS: The strategies of the tobacco industry have been largely successful in inhibiting the regulation of secondhand smoke in Germany. Policymakers, health professionals, the media and the general public should be aware of this industry involvement and should take appropriate steps to close the gap between what is known and what is done about the health effects of secondhand smoke.  (+info)

(44/97) Today's threat is tomorrow's crisis: advocating for dental education, dental and biomedical research, and oral health.

The current political environment in the nation's capital threatens federal support for programs vital to the academic dental community. To develop a strong cadre of advocates who can deliver an effective and unified message to members of Congress on behalf of dental education and dental research, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) created a new organizational structure: the National Oral Health Advocacy Committee (NOHAC) and the National Advocacy Network (NAN). The basic skills and knowledge required to function as an effective advocate include an understanding of the political environment, a working knowledge of the legislative processes and the political players, and the ability to build and work with grassroots networks and coalitions. NOHAC and NAN are designed to provide leadership in these areas to support effective advocacy for dental education and dental research.  (+info)

(45/97) Tobacco interests or the public interest: 20 years of industry strategies to undermine airline smoking restrictions.

OBJECTIVES: To understand the evolution of 20 years of tobacco industry strategies to undermine federal restrictions of smoking on aircraft in the United States. DESIGN: We searched and analysed internal tobacco industry records, public documents, and other related research. RESULTS: The industry viewed these restrictions as a serious threat to the social acceptability of smoking. Its initial efforts included covert letter-writing campaigns and lobbying of the airline industry, but with the emergence of proposals to ban smoking, the tobacco companies engaged in ever increasing efforts to forestall further restrictions. Tactics to dominate the public record became especially rigorous. The industry launched an aggressive public relations campaign that began with the promotion of industry sponsored petition drives and public opinion surveys. Results from polling research that produced findings contrary to the industry's position were suppressed. In order to demonstrate smoker outrage against a ban, later efforts included the sponsorship of smokers' rights and other front groups. Congressional allies and industry consultants sought to discredit the science underlying proposals to ban smoking and individual tobacco companies conducted their own cabin air quality research. Faced with the potential of a ban on all domestic flights, the industry sought to intimidate an air carrier and a prominent policymaker. Despite the intensification of tactics over time, including mobilisation of an army of lobbyists and Congressional allies, the tobacco industry was ultimately defeated. CONCLUSIONS: Our longitudinal analysis provides insights into how and when the industry changed its plans and provides public health advocates with potential counterstrategies.  (+info)

(46/97) Culturally responsive interventions to enhance immunosuppressive medication adherence in older African American kidney transplant recipients.

CONTEXT: Immunosuppressive medication nonadherence is variable among older kidney transplant recipients and is a problem in African American recipients despite the severe consequences of this behavior. Many factors place older African American recipients at risk for medication nonadherence. OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of interventions to enhance immunosuppressive medication adherence in older African American kidney transplant recipients using a culturally responsive model. Culturally sensitive, innovative, and transformation interventions are discussed. Situations when each intervention would be most and least appropriate are described. CONCLUSION: Moving culturally appropriate interventions forward into practice and testing their effectiveness in improving adherence outcomes in vulnerable, older African American kidney transplant recipients is a worthy practice and research goal for transplant nursing.  (+info)

(47/97) Paternalism and its discontents: motorcycle helmet laws, libertarian values, and public health.

The history of motorcycle helmet legislation in the United States reflects the extent to which concerns about individual liberties have shaped the public health debate. Despite overwhelming epidemiological evidence that motorcycle helmet laws reduce fatalities and serious injuries, only 20 states currently require all riders to wear helmets. During the past 3 decades, federal government efforts to push states toward enactment of universal helmet laws have faltered, and motorcyclists' advocacy groups have been successful at repealing state helmet laws. This history raises questions about the possibilities for articulating an ethics of public health that would call upon government to protect citizens from their own choices that result in needless morbidity and suffering.  (+info)

(48/97) "The law was actually drafted by us but the Government is to be congratulated on its wise actions": British American Tobacco and public policy in Kenya.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: British American Tobacco (BAT) has historically enjoyed a monopoly position in Kenya. Analysis of recent tobacco control debates and a case study of BAT's response to the emergence of competition in Kenya are used to explore the company's ability to shape public policy and its treatment of tobacco farmers. DESIGN: Analysis of internal industry documents from BAT's Guildford depository, other relevant data and interviews with key informants. RESULTS: BAT enjoys extensive high-level political connections in Kenya, including close relationships with successive Kenyan presidents. Such links seems to have been used to influence public policy. Health legislation has been diluted and delayed, and when a competitor emerged in the market, BAT used its contacts to have the government pass legislation drafted by BAT that compelled farmers to sell tobacco to BAT rather than to its competitor. BAT was already paying farmers less than any other African leaf-growing company, and the legislation entrenched poor pay and a quasi-feudal relationship. BAT's public relation's response to the threat of competition and the ministers' public statements extolling the economic importance of tobacco growing suggest that BAT has manipulated tobacco farming as a political issue. CONCLUSIONS: The extent of BAT's influence over public policy is consistent with the observations that, despite ratifying the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, progress in implementing tobacco control measures in Kenya has been limited. The benefits of tobacco farming seem to be deliberately exaggerated, and an analysis of its true cost benefits is urgently needed. Tobacco farmers must be protected against BAT's predatory practices and fully informed about its activities to help them have an informed role in policy debates. As image, particularly around the importance of tobacco farming, seems key to BAT's ability to influence policy, the truth about its treatment of farmers must be publicised.  (+info)