E Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control E
Essential Action

P.O. Box 19405, Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +1 202/387-8030 • Fax: +1 202/234-5176
[email protected]www.essentialaction.org/tobacco

Menu of Suggested Activities

What types of activities might partner organizations work on together? This menu provides a sampling of possible joint projects, covering a wide breadth of issue areas. You and your partner can pick and choose according to your particular interests or think of your own. We will be developing modules for some of the activities listed below. In the meantime, if you would like further information on any of them please contact us. Also let us know if you come up with any creative ideas of your own. We will share them with everyone else!


ÿ Local Surveys
Each partner could survey their local environment for: tobacco advertisements, promotions, merchandising approaches and retailing outlets; tobacco control and public health messages, treatment facilities, etc.; and tobacco control ordinances (local taxes, smoke-free regulations, etc.). The partners would exchange information and compare results. Are promotions within 1000 feet of schools banned in Milwaukee but permitted in Manila? Are newspaper advertisements for tobacco banned in Bangkok but permitted in Baltimore? The survey results should be newsworthy, and may spur local policy initiative follow-ups.

ÿ Women and Tobacco
Women are a primary target of the tobacco industry all over the world, nowhere more so than in the developing world, where smoking rates among women is traditionally low. Partners might examine industry promotional activities targeting women, comparing and contrasting the industry efforts in different countries. In addition to elaborating how the industry hopes to lure more women into smoking, they may highlight the double standards that permit certain promotional activities in developing countries that cannot take place in the United States or Western countries because of reasons of law or custom. Simply focusing on how women are being targeted may help to inoculate women from the industry's deadly seductions, especially if partner investigations spur media interest and are followed up with educational activities for girls and women.

ÿ Celebrity accountability
While most American entertainment and sports celebrities would refuse as a matter of course to endorse cigarettes or tobacco products in the United States, many seem to feel differently when it comes to markets overseas. Several sports and music stars either endorse tobacco products directly, or participate in entertainment events that are showcases for a sponsoring tobacco company. These arrangements enable the Americans to protect their image in the United States, while cashing in on tobacco dollars. In developing countries, de facto celebrity endorsement supports the romanticization of smoking and the association with perceived American traits of wealth, freedom, etc. Working together, partners could document the role of U.S. celebrities in overseas tobacco marketing, and then make binational, direct requests to the celebrities to terminate their association with Big Tobacco.

ÿ Going to the Movies
Hollywood specializes in glamour, and when Hollywood movie characters smoke -- as they so frequently do – they glorify smoking. There is little doubt that this glamorization of smoking entices young people into smoking and lessens the social stigma against smoking. The problem is severe in the United States, but is probably more intense outside of the United States, where Hollywood movies have an even larger cultural influence -- and where Hollywood norms may be perceived to be those of Americans. Efforts to convince Hollywood writers, directors, producers and actors to limit on-screen smoking time have met with limited success. But stepped up, organized international efforts might do better. Partners could work together to document and explain the harmful effect of smoking in movies, and then convey those findings to Hollywood principals. Hearing from overseas tobacco control groups, and their characterizations of how smoking in the movies affects tobacco consumption in their countries, may be particularly influential with some Hollywood figures.


ÿ Smoke-free Hospitals
Partner hospitals could share information on the transition to smoke-free status -- the public health imperative, how to address employee concerns, how to change the medical culture, how to address patient protests. Or medical association or NGO partners could
campaign to make hospitals smoke-free.ÿ Youth and Tobacco-free Schools
Partner student groups in particular schools (a high school in California and one in Nigeria, for example) could together share information on tobacco message prevalence in their schools and surrounding environs; survey student smoking rates; work together to analyze how industry promotional messages target youth; coordinate anti-tobacco messages in their schools; and perhaps jointly develop or share anti-tobacco songs, plays or artistic displays.


ÿ Tobacco Industry Documents
Partners could jointly research the tobacco industry documents for material related to their communities or areas of interest. Because of technological limitations among many groups in the South, even reviewing the documents available on the internet may be impractical. But a tobacco control partner in, say, Minneapolis could easily do a computer search for a Kenyan partner. This would truly be a joint effort, because the nature of the documents and the inadequate indices publicly available requires that those conducting the search be informed about key terms and names -- information that only the Kenyan partner might have -- both for the purposes of finding and interpreting the documents. Such joint efforts clearly offer rich possibilities, as the steady stream of blockbuster stories based on the documents hit the media.

ÿ Smuggling
Groups that identify smuggling as among their issues of priority concern could benefit enormously from sharing particularized information about smuggling in their countries and communities. Partners might jointly explore how smuggling occurs, its impact on tobacco consumption and tobacco control regulation, policy tools to curb smuggling, how to convert their findings into policy proposals at the national and international level, and work together to plug into negotiations over a smuggling protocol to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

ÿ Evaluating Industry Political Influence
Partners could work together to do local or national surveys of tobacco politics: Do tobacco companies contribute to political candidates? How much? Do they employ lobbyists? Who are they? Did they previously serve in government? What kind of ties exist between government officials and the tobacco industry? Does the industry target charitable giving to influence government officials? Do cities or countries have mechanisms in place to ensure the industry does not exercise improper influence? Are different kinds of tobacco industry support for politicians disclosed to the public?


ÿ Giving teeth to U.S. State Department's tobacco directive
When the Clinton administration instructed embassy outposts to cease lending support to the tobacco industry, it also stated in its directive: Embassy "posts are encouraged to assist and promote tobacco-control efforts in host countries." Partners could strategize about how to work together to encourage embassies to support overseas tobacco control efforts. In Senegal, the U.S. ambassador has issued a statement on tobacco control on World No-Tobacco Day, and donated old computers to local tobacco control groups.


ÿ WHO "Clear the Air" Competition
The World Health Organization has designated second-hand smoke as its theme for World No-Tobacco Day 2001. It is inaugurating a "Clear the Air" competition among cities in an effort to inspire mayors and city governments to address second-hand smoke problems with smoke-free spaces. Partners could work to ensure their cities participate in the Clear the Air competition, and share ideas and strategies for expanding smoke-free public spaces -- workplaces, restaurants, schools, hospitals, government offices, etc.

ÿ International Days of Action
Organizations in over 40 countries organized events for an international week of action in October 2000 which highlighted the role of the multinational tobacco companies in spreading death and disease <see www.IWR2000.org>. Other days of action are certain to follow. Partners could plug into these plans, holding demonstrations, news conferences or other creative actions. To capitalize on the partnerships, partners might want to coordinate their activities, perhaps highlighting double standards in the industry's activities in Western countries and in developing countries and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

ÿ Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
The member states of the World Health Organization are now undertaking negotiations on a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Framework Convention is expected to establish a set of global tobacco control guidelines and policy objectives. Specific protocols will contain binding agreements in particular areas, such as smuggling and advertising. Partners can work together to learn about the Framework Convention; coordinate efforts to pass local resolutions in support of a convention; share information with government officials to ensure they understand the importance of the Framework Convention; and join an international alliance in support of the Framework Convention.


ÿ Congregation pledges
Religious group partners could undertake a joint effort to collect pledges from congregation members to stop smoking. The collective nature of the pledge may assist smokers to quit. The congregations might also pledge to venture into the community and undertake parallel campaigns to gather pledges to quit smoking, or to support smokefree ordinances for public places in the community.

ÿ Web Development
Partners could work together, and with the wonderful assistance of Globalink, to ensure that both partners have a satisfactory presence on the web. Depending on their computer capacity, they could post pictures of local conditions, organization members, and organizational activities; or, if the developing country partner did not have access to a scanner, the U.S. group could perhaps post photos on behalf of the developing country partner