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Welcome to TobaccoTactics

The tobacco industry pioneered tactics such as denying the health impacts of its products

TobaccoTactics.org is a ground-breaking new online academic resource, launched by the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath.

TobaccoTactics.org provides up-to-date information on the Tobacco Industry, its allies or those promoting a pro-tobacco agenda. It also contains profiles of people and organisations currently involved in the tobacco control debates in the UK or Europe. The website explores how the industry influences and distorts public health debates, using a whole raft of lobbying and public relations tactics.

Investigating the activities of the main tobacco industry players and the links between the organisations and people involved, TobaccoTactics.org maps the echo chamber of the industry and charts its influence on contemporary public health debates.

So whether you are interested in the current debate on plain packaging of cigarettes, concerned about smuggling, or whether you want to know more about often hidden links between the tobacco industry and seemingly independent groups or about the importance of the pack, TobaccoTactics.org reveals how the industry manipulates public policy.

What's New on TobaccoTactics.org?

3 April 2014: Chantler review published

  • Chantler Report concludes that according to the evidence, it is 'highly likely that standardised packaging would serve to reduce the rate of children taking up smoking...'

2 April 2014: Consultation on Marketing of E-cigarettes.

14 March 2014: Revised EU Tobacco Products Directive Adopted

  • Council and Parliament have now approved the revised Directive which is expected to come into force in May 2014.

12 March 2014: Don't Be A Maybe - You're the Target!

  • Tobacco Control Research Group research on the Be Marlboro campaign that is targeting youth feeds into the 'You're the target' report written by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Leaked Tobacco Documents - Latest

Phillip Morris' confidential lobby campaigns to derail Plain Packaging proposals:

What Else Is New?

6 February 2014

  • Extent of tobacco industry’s lobbying tactics unveiled by new paper today (or see University of Bath press release). Authors: Emily Savell et al.

10 December 2013

  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch from tobacco companies by TCRG's Gary Fooks and Anna Gilmore in The Conversation. On how public smoking restrictions led to BAT making large, conspicuous donations to education institutions, health organisations and NGOs – all essentially aimed at increasing the company’s political footprint.

Is TobaccoTactics.org meant for me?

Our audience includes health professionals and public health advocates, NGOs, journalists, civil servants, politicians and academics. In the end, TobaccoTactics.org is aimed at anyone with an interest in the Tobacco Industry and its wide range of tactics to influence the debate on public health.

TobaccoTactics.org also addresses the need to monitor the tobacco industry activities, an action recognised by the World Health Organisation as essential to public health. Article 5.3 of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires signatories of the Treaty to protect their health policies “from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry”. TobaccoTactics.org helps people do this.

Visitor statistics

Since it was launched in June 2012, the website has received 1.4 million hits, with over 800,000 pages served with a daily average of nearly 6,300 hits! These April 2013 statistics, along with positive feedback from users of the site, reflect its success and popularity. Update: check the TobaccoTactics User Statistics for May 2013.

Knowledge Exchange

TobaccoTactics.org also represents a new model of academic research dissemination. Its unique feature is that it enables preliminary research findings to be made publicly available faster than would occur via traditional academic outputs. We aim to expand TobaccoTactics.org as an exemplary and pioneering model of knowledge exchange.

We also offer workshops on the wiki for new audiences and dedicated talks for a broad range of stakeholders. Do get in touch if you want to invite TobaccoTactics.org to your conference, or if you want us to talk about uncovering the tactics of the tobacco industry. And do not hesitate to contact us with information that needs to be published on the website.

Tell us what you think!

The TobaccoTactics team wants to build more alliances with key stakeholders. To maximise usefulness we are also actively seeking feedback as well as specific requests for information.

Email: TobaccoTactics AT Bath.ac.uk.

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Plain Packaging: bare knuckle fight

Having lost the argument on plain packaging in Australia, one industry analyst predicted a "bare knuckle fight" from the industry in the UK. TobaccoTactics.org outlines the different tactics the industry is using, from front groups to PR firms to scaremongering over smuggling.

At the same time, the website documents how the industry is targeting women and young people with a whole host of clever new pack designs. The industry’s current tactics are also given historical context by analysis of thousands of internal tobacco documents.

Click on the links to find out more on the current smoking debate:

Tobacco Tactics - How does it work?

TobaccoTactics.org provides easy public access to research on the transnational tobacco companies and their efforts to influence public health policy. Using the same open software as Wikipedia, TobaccoTactic.org shares the simple structure with many free encyclopaedias on line. Our website, however, can only be edited by the team at the University of Bath. Due to a policy of Strict Referencing we can guarantee TobaccoTactics.org is a trustworthy source of information, aimed at meeting the best possible standards of quality, fairness and accuracy.

Where to start?

There are several ways to find your way at TobaccoTactics.org:

  • Begin with the overview of the broad range of Tobacco Tactics offering explanation and examples.
  • The section Organisations & People identifies some of those involved in attempts to influence the health debate.
  • For specific names or issues, it's good to try the Search engine - firmly fixed on the left-hand column of each page.
  • The What's New section at this page offers the most recent edits,
  • The Twitter-feed picks up the latest news.

Tobacco Tactics - Background

TobaccoTactics.org builds on the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Groups extensive research experience in documenting the activities and influence of the tobacco industry and aims to address the difficulties of making such research publicly available in a timely and useable manner.

Prof Anna Gilmore:

People may ask why the University of Bath has produced this pioneering Wiki. Tobacco remains a leading cause of death, disease and inequalities globally. To address this tobacco epidemic, it is necessary to examine its vector, the tobacco industry. Specifically, we need to explore how the tobacco industry influences public health, both directly through the promotion of products damaging to health, and indirectly through influence over public policy. The Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath has set up TobaccoTactics.org to achieve this.

Read more...

Editorial Oversight

TobaccoTactics is a project of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the Department for Health at the University of Bath and is overseen by two managing editors, Eveline Lubbers and Andrew Rowell. TobaccoTactics has a policy of Strict Referencing. Any feedback or material to add? Please contact us at TobaccoTactics AT bath.ac.uk.

Disclaimer. Some of the research for TobaccoTactics was funded by Cancer Research UK Limited and Smokefree South West. These funders have had no input into the research reported on this website or its conclusions. They are not responsible for the content or the publication, nor do they necessarily endorse it. Published by the University of Bath. Read the General Disclaimer.

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