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Cancer Control Research

5R01CA087110-04
Chapman, Simon
ANALYSIS OF TOBACCO INDUSTRY DOCUMENTS--ASIA/AUSTRALIA

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant) This project will locate, catalogue, review and disseminate the strategic national, regional and international significance of the hitherto "secret" tobacco industry documents containing explicit material about tobacco control issues in six nations: Australia; New Zealand; China/Hong Kong; Thailand; Indonesia; and Malaysia. Each of these nations have been selected because of their past and continuing historic importance to different globally significant issues or initiatives in tobacco control. Globally, the global public health impact of tobacco use is becoming greater in less developed nations than in advanced industrialized nations like the USA. The transnational nature of the tobacco industry means that the policies and activities of these companies in other nations will become increasingly relevant to developments in the USA. As the World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative evolves with its ambitions to develop an international framework convention covering many aspects of tobacco regulation and marketing, the international dimensions of the tobacco industry's policies and practices will assume even greater importance. Australia and New Zealand, for example, have far more advanced tobacco control policies than the USA in the areas of advertising restrictions, pack warnings, and tobacco tax levels. Acquiring inside knowledge of tobacco industry strategies in political and regulatory environments further "down the track" than those now operating in the USA will allow valuable insights into (for example) the advertising control "endgames" in which the industry engages when all orthodox forms of advertising are banned by law. Two nations in the study, China and Indonesia, are, respectively, the first and fourth most populated nations on earth. Both countries have very high male smoking rates and constitute markets of the highest priority to the tobacco industry. Documents already located indicate elaborate and continuing efforts, in China in particular, to obfuscate the health issues arising from active and passive smoking and to extend the network of tobacco industry scientists into Asian public health institutions.


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