There is general consensus in the global tobacco control community that tobacco industry interference is the greatest barrier to progress in reducing tobacco’s deadly toll.
To this end, Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international public health treaty that 181 countries are party to, obliges countries to protect their health policies from the “vested interests of the tobacco industry”. Monitoring and researching the tobacco industry, and holding it to account, are essential for the success of tobacco control policies.
In 2011, the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) at the University of Bath established the first comprehensive tobacco industry monitoring programme in line with Article 5.3. TobaccoTactics is the primary output of this programme. Click here and here for more background to our approach to monitoring and research tobacco industry activity.
A New Model of Knowledge Exchange
TobaccoTactics is a new model of academic research dissemination, launched in 2012 by the TCRG.
Its unique feature is that the site enables the TCRG to make preliminary research findings publicly available faster than would occur via traditional academic outputs. The site provides timely access to findings in a user-friendly format. On TobaccoTactics you can find information on:
- tactics and arguments used by the industry to promote a pro-tobacco and nicotine agenda and halt advances in public health;
- the organisations, institutions, and people that the industry collaborates with, including front groups and third parties, who lobby on its behalf; and
- current topics such as Plain Packaging, Tobacco Smuggling, alternative products such as E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products, and the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.
The Secretariat to the FCTC has recognised TobaccoTactics as the gold standard on tobacco industry monitoring and is now trying to establish other regional monitoring sites around the world based on the TCRG model. Sites have been set up in Brazil and Sri Lanka, in which the TCRG has played a key supportive role.
- See also statement by Professor Anna Gilmore, Director of the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) at the University of Bath, on the background of TobaccoTactics.
Who Uses TobaccoTactics?
TobaccoTactics attracts on average 13.5 million page views per year with daily views peaking at 60,000 and users drawn from all over the world. Global feedback confirms that public health experts, advocacy organisations, civil servants, politicians, policymakers, NGOs and journalists make extensive use of the evidence-based site. For example, politicians use it to check if lobbyists are linked to the tobacco industry, and journalists use it to source stories.
TobaccoTactics is relevant for everyone, particularly those who have an interest in tobacco control legislation and the tobacco industry. If you’re new to the site, visit the Key Topics on the home page to view research on current tobacco-related issues, peruse the What’s New section to get updated on the latest developments, or search for a specific topic in the Search Bar on the left side of the screen. More information on how to navigate the site, can be found on the help page.
Click here to get in touch with requests and queries. We welcome feedback on the content and presentation of TobaccoTactics. Do get in touch if you want to talk about our research, our research model and methods or if you want help uncovering the tactics of the tobacco industry. We respond to requests from the media and are open to giving talks on our research.
Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG)
Based at the University of Bath's Department for Health, the TCRG examines corporate influence on health behaviours, health policy and health outcomes. The Group comprises expertise from multiple disciplines: public health, epidemiology, health psychology, political science, cultural anthropology and investigative journalism. TCRG research has received extensive national and international media coverage, and the quality and impact of TCRG research has been recognised via several national and international awards.
The TCRG is a member of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, one of six UK Public Health Research Centres of Excellence. The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently in the process of establishing the TCRG as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the commercial influences on NCD policies and programmes.
For more information on the TCRG, see:
- World Health Organization, Tobacco industry interference with tobacco control, 2008, accessed May 2018
- World Health Organization, Tobacco Free Initiative: Watching and countering the industry, 2018, accessed May 2018
- World Health Organization, Guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 2008, accessed May 2018
- WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Establishment of tobacco industry monitoring centres, 11 April 2016, accessed May 2018
- University of Bath, New wiki site to unmask dealings of tobacco industry in Sri Lanka, undated, accessed May 2018
- WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, WHO FCTC Secretariat in cooperation with the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath (UK) conducted a training course, 13 March 2017, accessed May 2018
- University of Bath, Tobacco industry monitoring centres convene in Bath, undated, accessed May 2018
- University of Bath, Bath academic wins award from World Health Organisation, Press Release 26 June 2008, accessed May 2018
- University of Bath, Researcher internationally recognised for outstanding work in tobacco control, Press release 5 April 2012, accessed May 2018