Project: Establishing a mechanism for tobacco control advocacy
International Policy Fellowship
The work on the project during the first part of the fellowship year had
aspects. Each of the four major type of activities outlined below proved
to be an effective
strategy of tobacco control advocacy.
1. Monitoring tobacco industry's misinformation and lobbying
tactics by media monitoring and other sources.
a) Business journals and key newspapers in Ukraine were
monitored for tobacco industry activities as well as tobacco control activities.
It revealed that while some major legislative activities: advertising law,
excise tax law and general tobacco control law were introduced in the parliament
tobacco industry tried to distract media attention for non-important issues.
For example, main focus of their publications on excise taxes was about pros
and cons of specific and advalorem tax systems. Philip Morris supported specific
taxes, while BAT was a proponent of mixed taxes. However, their internal
documents, like BAT Internal Audit of 2000, revealed that their “lobbying
strategy is to keep excise as low as possible”.
b) Monitoring tobacco industry internal documents in international
depositaries already produce some results and overview of the documents concerning
Ukraine will be presented in the final report.
2. Conducting country applied research in tobacco control
legislation and economics and presenting their results in brief and clear
publications for decision makers
a) Report “Policy analysis of tobacco advertising in Ukraine”
was prepared and published in April 2003 http://adic.org.ua/nosmoking/books/ad/index.html
. Just at April 3, the parliament approved the amendments to the advertising
law, which had only limited changes to existing law. The report was send
to the every member of the parliament with proposed text of legislation concerning
tobacco advertising. As a result four members of the parliament submitted
our proposal as their own. In June 2003 the amendments were voted in the
parliament. Unfortunately our proposal for comprehensive ban was not supported,
however due to our pressure the following items concerning tobacco advertising
were included to the law between the first and final readings: ban of transport
advertising, ban of indoor advertising, ban of sponsorship of events.
b) The booklet on tobacco industry “youth prevention programs”
was prepared and published in May in Russian. This booklet demonstrates that
real aim of such programs is political lobbying to have legislation favorable
to tobacco industry http://adic.org.ua/nosmoking/books/unicef/prev-prog/index.html
3. Strengthening tobacco control non-governmental organization
a) The report “Policy analysis of tobacco advertising in
Ukraine” was used as background of the NGO Coalition For Tobacco-Free Ukraine
press-releases in April in June on tobacco control legislation. Issuing bi-monthly
newsletter for NGOs;
b) These press releases and other materials were published
at the web-site of the NGO Coalition For Tobacco-Free Ukraine (www.adic.org.ua/coalition
c) Seven NGO members from Ukraine were trained in advocacy
skills at the WHO seminar in April 2003 together with 9 representatives of
NGOs from CIS countries.
d) NGO members were involved into counter-tobacco industry
and other actions. For example at May 31 at the World No Tobacco Day NGOs
organized demonstration on the central street of Kiev city with tobacco control
slogans, including tobacco advertising ban (see http://adic.org.ua/nosmoking/wntd/2003/kiev/index.html
4. Tobacco control political mapping
a) Possible ways to push and stop tobacco control legislation
were explored to find promising entry points to the policy making process.
Two separate draft tobacco control legislation proposals were presented to
the parliament by members of the parliament. I took part in preparing positive
response of the government to these proposals. Combined proposal was presented
to the parliament and was scheduled for the first reading in June, however
due to lack of time it was moved to September.
b) I continue to identify tobacco control supporters and
opponents among: members of the parliament; staff of the parliament; governmental
officials; media; NGO movement. I already have some results, but taking into
account that tobacco control draft law will be considered soon in the parliament
I prefer to keep it confidential.
c) Unfortunately, at present there are no key political
figures, who could take responsibility for long-term tobacco control strategy.
The top staff of the Ministry of Health was recently changed and we try to
encourage new minister and his staff as well as parliament public health
leaders to be more active in tobacco control.
Some results of the research work were presented at several international
1) Conference of NGOs working in tobacco control in CIS
countries, Kiev, April 2003.
2) Conference on Building Coalitions for Tobacco Control,
Bucharest, April 2003.
3) 12 World Conference of Tobacco or Health (Helsinki,
August 2003), where the following oral and poster reports were presented:
o Tobacco smuggling in Ukraine;
o Tobacco Excise Taxes in Ukraine in 1993-2001;
o Developing and utilizing tobacco control information
and policy networks in Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent