for Tobacco Control
Report on the 2001
on Tobacco or Health
November 27-29, 2001
New Orleans, LA
Last week over 50 U.S. GPTC participants, including representatives from
the Czech Republic, Mexico, Palau, Sri Lanka and Uganda, attended the
2001 National Conference on Tobacco or Health in New Orleans! Also present
were GPTC advisory board members, David Simpson (UK) and Witold Zatonski
A BIG THANKS to all of you who -- by participating in panels, creating
posters about your global partnerships, attending GPTC events, and sharing
valuable feedback and ideas -- helped make the GPTC sessions, meetings,
and discussions A HUGE SUCCESS!
Summary of GPTC-related
For more information contact <email@example.com>
Session 10: OPENING
PLENARY - WHY INTERNATIONAL TOBACCO CONTROL MATTERS IN THE U.S.
David Simpson of the International Agency on Tobacco and Health shocked
3000 conference attendees with sobering graphs of the projected global
epidemic of tobacco-related death and disease, a diagram showing how the
GDP of many low-income countries is dwarfed by Big Tobacco's annual revenues,
and photos of outrageous marketing tactics from around the world, e.g.
Marlboro baby clothing and cigarette brands named after U.S. cities (to
which the audience responded with gasps of astonishment and outrage).
Throughout his talk, David emphasized the need to channel more resources
to tobacco control advocates in low-income countries. He concluded with
a list of ways U.S. groups could take action, including a plug for GPTC.
Session 129: TOBACCO
CONTROL IN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES: ENHANCING LOCAL EFFORTS THROUGH GLOBAL
New York City Tobacco Control program Director Donna Shelley gave an eye-opening
overview of the 2000 U.S. Census results and their implications for U.S.
tobacco control efforts, particularly in cities like New York (where a
whopping 40% of residents are foreign born and the Asian community is
growing exponentially). Mele Smith and Susana Hennessy Lavery of the San
Francisco Department of Health gave examples of successful international
partnerships and activities through their Tobacco Free Project's "Buddy
System." They also shared excellent television news coverage of a
January 2001 press conference they organized, the culmination of a weeklong
training involving San Francisco groups and their international buddies.
GPTC coordinator Anna White shared the "Top Ten Reasons" international
tobacco control is relevant to the U.S. and highlighted some global partnerships
that specifically deal with immigrant communities in the U.S.
Session 226: INTERNATIONAL
EXPERTS IN TOBACCO CONTROL SYMPOSIUM
David Simpson interviewed GPTC participants Angelo Izama (Monitor FM,
Uganda), Enrique Gomez (Border Health Initiative, Mexico), Pubudu Sumanakeera
(Alcohol and Drug Information Center, Sri Lanka), and Eva Kralikova (Czech
Republic) about tobacco industry activities in their respective countries.
Angelo noted that BAT is the second largest taxpayer in Uganda (there
is a saying in his country that "one does not hurt the cow that feeds
you"!). His radio program is intent on making tobacco control a major
public health issue in Uganda. Enrique described Philip Morris's aggressive
marketing tactics in Mexico that the company refrains from in the U.S.,
just over the border. He noted that there are few tobacco control advocates
in Mexico, but cautioned that the solution is not simply more money, but
effective campaigns. Pubudu described how ADIC recently organized a street
demonstration in front of Ceylon Tobacco Company (95% owned by BAT) involving
hundreds of young people holding placards. He also noted that a particularly
successful strategy of ADIC has been holding tobacco company executives
personally accountable for marketing death. Eva gave an account of her
involvement in the international exposure of Philip Morris's now infamous
report that concluded that smokers' premature deaths are beneficial to
the Czech economy, i.e. kill people off early and the government doesn't
have to provide health care, pensions, or housing to them in their old
Then Angelo and Enrique's U.S. partners, Jerry Gabay (Nuestra Comunidad
Sana, OR) and Barbara Bruce (Navajo County Tobacco Control Prevention
& Ed Program, AZ) joined the panel to discuss their respective partnerships.
Barbara, who hosts a tobacco talk show, described her and Angelo's plans
for a joint radio show and an article on tobacco and women. Jerry, whose
organization works with a Mexican immigrants in rural OR, discussed his
and Enrique's plans to compare health surveys of Mexicans and Mexican
immigrants across borders. Audience members were very enthused! One woman
said that a visit to India enhanced her local tobacco control efforts
in AZ. GPTC participant Don Zeigler, who visited Romania earlier this
year, mentioned a Romanian youth group called "Health Messengers,"
that holds a mock trial of Big Tobacco on television every week. A CO
health work, originally from Nigeria, expressed interest in partnering
with a Nigerian group. And a man from Indiana plugged "tobacco control
humor across border." Several people come up afterwards to say it
was their favorite session of the entire conference. Kudos to Angelo,
Enrique, Eva, Pubudu, Jerry, Barbara, Witold, and David! Special thanks
to Jeannette Noltenius (National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco)
for her superb Spanish-English translating skills.
* Witold Zatonski also gave a plug for next June's European Conference
on Tobacco or Health in Warsaw, Poland to which Central/Eastern European
groups and their partners are all invited! For more information see: http://www.ectoh2002.org
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Session 183: THE
INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL
William Corr (Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids) gave an overview of the
FCTC and the measures that tobacco control advocates are calling for,
e.g. language affirming that public health interests override those of
trade. He emphasized that the goal is a strong treaty, but not necessarily
a ratifiable treaty -- as the U.S. government has an acute aversion to
ratifying international treaties. For the sake of global public health,
it is better to have a strong treaty that the U.S. doesn't ratify, than
a weak treaty that the U.S. probably still won't ratify! Witold Zatonski
described his experience as a Polish delegate to the FCTC. Robert Weissman,
Co-Director of Essential Action, underscored the horrendous tragedy of
tobacco-related death and disease facing low-income countries, and the
need to go beyond letter writing, to exert ample pressure on governments
to protect public health from a predatory tobacco industry. He cited the
recent victory in the campaign to provide access to affordable AIDS drugs
to millions of people in low-income countries (at the WTO meeting in November,
activists were successful in securing the right of low-income countries
to ignore pharmaceutical patents in order to meet public health needs).
If it can be done with AIDS drugs, why not tobacco?
208: TRACKING INDUSTRY STRATEGIES A GLOBAL SHAM: TOBACCO INDUSTRY "YOUTH
SMOKING PREVENTION" PROGRAMS
Essential Action's poster included examples of Philip Morris "smoking
prevention" programs around the world, the company's blatant marketing
to kids outside the U.S., conclusions of ASH-UK's report "Danger!
PR in the Playground," internal industry documents stating the real
purpose of the industry's PR campaigns, and examples of related campaigns
and reports by GPTC participants.
269: GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS IN TOBACCO CONTROL THE IMPORTANCE OF GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS
IN TOBACCO CONTROL
GPTC participants Pat Hale (OR) and Gloria Luther (Volusia County Health
Dept, FL) put together an excellent poster detailing their respective
partnerships with Liliana Tsoneva-Pentcheva (Bulgaria) and FADDES (Senegal).
Pat's section included a fascinating graphic comparison of the results
of a cross-cultural survey that she and Liliana recently conducted on
second-hand smoke in the home. For more information contact <email@example.com>
Gloria's section gave an account of Volusia County's Students Working
Against Tobacco's involvement in Florida's SWAT without Borders initiative
earlier this year, complete with a collage of tobacco advertising from
Senegal. For more information contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
A big thanks to Pat and Gloria!
50 WAYS TO PARTICIPATE
IN THE GLOBAL MOVEMENT: LOCAL ACTIONS WITH A GLOBAL FOCUS
For a copy of the San Francisco Tobacco Free Project's brochure by the
same name, contact Mele Lau Smith <email@example.com>
or Susana Hennessy Lavery <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Valerie Whipps (Coalition for a Tobacco Free Palau) and colleagues (including
the Minister of Health) described how intimately linked betel nut is to
Palau culture. A common greeting is "Have some betelnut" and
chiefs are never caught without an ample betelnut supply. Women are given
betelnut when they are married, a symbolic rite of passage. In contrast
to the U.S., there are more "chewers" than "smokers"
in Palau. Valerie also described Philip Morris's unsuccessful attempt
to influence Palau's position on the FCTC. The government had already
been sufficiently briefed about the need for a strong FCTC and the tobacco
industry's nefarious tactics, and promptly turned down Philip Morris when
the company requested a meeting! Bravo Palau (sounds like the U.S. government
has a lot to learn from this small island nation). Pubudu Sumanaekera
(ADIC - Sri Lanka) commented that the exhibition hall had many glossy
displays, but he wondered how effective many of the programs really are.
This elicited a lively discussion with many participants agreeing that
some of the most effective tobacco control measures are simple and/or
cost very little. Mele Smith (SFTFP - CA) noted that the tobacco industry
likes to focus on individual change, such as youth education, as opposed
to measures that would affect mass behavior change, e.g. smokefree policies.
Education, she said, must serve a larger good, systemic change.
Thanks to the following
people for bringing/sending posters to display!
- Mary Beth Anderson (Community Intervention, MN - Palau)
- Monica Arora (HRIDAY-SHAH, India)
- Kamel Bereksi (sous-secteur Jean Kraft, Algeria)
- Barbara Bruce (Navajo County Tobacco Control Prevention and Education
Program, AZ - Uganda)
- Pat Hale (OR - Bulgaria)
- Angelo Izama (Monitor FM, Uganda - AZ)
- Lilia Leuca (Liceul Teoretic Glodeni, Moldova - ID)
- Ayo Maat (BNICEH, IL - Ghana)
- Arthur Pitchenik (University of Miami Medical Center, FL - Kenya)
- Deirdre Smith (Smokefree Maryland - Romania)
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control
P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington,
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176