Project: Establishing a mechanism for tobacco control advocacy

Interim report

Konstantin Krasovsky
International Policy Fellowship
August, 2003


The work on the project during the first part of the fellowship year had several major
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 . 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 .

3.    Strengthening tobacco control non-governmental organization movement
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 ( );
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 ).

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 conferences:
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 States.

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