"Efforts to reprioritise the agenda" in China: British american tobacco-s efforts to influence public policy on secondhand smoke in China

Monique E. Muggli, Kelley Lee, Quan Gan, Jon Owen Ebbert, Richard D. Hurt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Each year, 540 million Chinese are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS), resulting in more than 100,000 deaths. Smoke-free policies have been demonstrated to decrease overall cigarette consumption, encourage smokers to quit, and protect the health of nonsmokers. However, restrictions on smoking in China remain limited and ineffective. Internal tobacco industry documents show that transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) have pursued a multifaceted strategy for undermining the adoption of restrictions on smoking in many countries. Methods and Findings: To understand company activities in China related to SHS, we analyzed British American Tobacco's (BAT's) internal corporate documents produced in response to litigation against the major cigarette manufacturers to understand company activities in China related to SHS. BAT has carried out an extensive strategy to undermine the health policy agenda on SHS in China by attempting to divert public attention from SHS issues towards liver disease prevention, pushing the so-called "resocialisation of smoking" accommodation principles, and providing "training" for industry, public officials, and the media based on BAT's corporate agenda that SHS is an insignificant contributor to the larger issue of air pollution. Conclusions: The public health community in China should be aware of the tactics previously used by TTCs, including efforts by the tobacco industry to co-opt prominent Chinese benevolent organizations, when seeking to enact stronger restrictions on smoking in public places.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1729-1736
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS Medicine
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

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Tobacco Smoke Pollution
Tobacco
Public Policy
Smoke
China
Smoking
Tobacco Industry
Industry
Tobacco Products
Smoke-Free Policy
Health
Air Pollution
Jurisprudence
Health Policy
Public health
Liver Diseases
Air pollution
Liver
Public Health
Organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

"Efforts to reprioritise the agenda" in China : British american tobacco-s efforts to influence public policy on secondhand smoke in China. / Muggli, Monique E.; Lee, Kelley; Gan, Quan; Ebbert, Jon Owen; Hurt, Richard D.

In: PLoS Medicine, Vol. 5, No. 12, 12.2008, p. 1729-1736.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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