Understanding tobacco companies' strategies to exert influence on policy makers and gain credibility with the public is critical in knowing how to best counter their deadly tactics.
Tobacco control advocates must understand how the tobacco industry operates in their country and region, and be familiar with local and regional tobacco products.
This information can be used to educate the public and policy makers, and undermine the tobacco industry's ability to weaken the adoption and implementation of effective tobacco control policies.
The tobacco industry is complex and must be understood on multiple levels:
- Transnational tobacco companies are rapidly expanding into developing countries where they are aggressively exposing new tobacco users to their deadly products.
- The tobacco industry in each country or region is unique and its strategies are customized to increase tobacco use.
- Tobacco use is dominated by products other than cigarettes in some countries and regions. These products are usually made by local companies with deep political and public ties.
Armed with a better understanding of the tobacco industry's goals and strategies, advocates can more effectively work to delegitimize the industry and reduce the use of its deadly products.