Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control
a program of Essential Action

January 2006

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Essential Action's Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control program has been facilitating cross-border collaboration between tobacco control groups in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Central/Eastern Europe and groups in the U.S. and Canada for over five years now. Here are some highlights of GPTC activities and accomplishments over these years:

  • Gathering tobacco-related information from around the world, e.g. tobacco company marketing strategies, "philanthropy" programs, and front groups; relative cost of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes; effective tobacco control visuals and clever tobacco control strategies; amounts of funding available for tobacco control; and useful responses to common tobacco industry arguments. Information and examples gathered have been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications; used in a wide range of educational materials; and incorporated into numerous advocacy campaigns.
  • Organizing advocacy events around the annual Altria/Philip Morris shareholders meeting to hold the company accountable for promoting death and disease around the world: 2005, 2004, 2003
  • Promoting cross-border collaboration and organizing face-to-face meetings between GPTC participants from different countries at various national and international conferences: World Conference on Tobacco or Health (2000, 2003), U.S. National Conference on Tobacco or Health (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005), Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health (2001, 2004), European Conference on Tobacco or Health (2002), and the Canadian National Conference on Tobacco or Health (2005)
  • Organizing delegations of North American tobacco control advocates to other regions of the world to engage in joint advocacy activities with partners there: South America (2005), West Africa (2004)
  • Promoting dozens of online letter and fax campaigns to support a wide range of tobacco control campaigns around the world. Over the years, letters have helped: stop the criminal investigation of a tobacco control advocate (Russia), generate negative publicity over Western Michigan University's decision to give an award to Philip Morris (USA), encouraged smokefree workplaces (Uganda), influence theWorld Bank to issue a statement against a tobacco industry sponsored "youth smoking prevention" program (Turkey), change a magazine's decision to accept tobacco advertising (USA), halt a British American Tobacco promotional campaign featuring Hollywood movies (Nigeria), persuade 20 researchers to cut their ties to the Philip Morris External Research Program (USA), and boosted FCTC ratification in multiple countries.
  • Mobilizing groups around the world to take part in international days and weeks of action focused on specific tobacco control issues, such as: Smokefree movies (2005), A strong FCTC (2001, 2002)
  • Creating Licensed to Kill, Inc, the world's first "brutally honest" tobacco company -- a parody of the tobacco industry that has been used to educate people around the world -- from tobacco control advocates to journalists to legislators -- about the true nature of the tobacco industry. For more info:

GPTC, originally focused on establishing one-to-one partnerships between two groups in different countries, now facilitates a wide range of partnerships and cross-border collaboration opportunities to meet the diverse needs of tobacco control groups around the world. Let us know if you have any bright ideas for new projects or issues that GPTC should take on, or if there is any way that GPTC can be of assistance to you. We look forward to working with you in 2006!