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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