185171 Successes of the tobacco industry in influencing tobacco control regulation in Lebanon: From the 1970 to the present

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rima Nakkash, DrPH , Health Behavior and Education Department, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Kelley Lee, PHD , Centre on Global Change and Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
This study contributes to understanding of the tobacco industry in Lebanon and its influence on policy making. It seeks to inform efforts to strengthen Tobacco Control, including implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) by providing valuable evidence for advocacy. The research is based on analysis of tobacco industry internal documents, disclosed to the public through litigation in the U.S. On-line collections and the on-site depository at Guildford, UK were searched systematically. Relevant documents were analyzed chronologically to create a thematic narrative. The interpretation of documents was supported by semi-structured interviews with policy makers and media reports, policy documents and industry publications. The research found that tobacco control policies in Lebanon have been relatively weak in scope and implementation, compared to other Middle East countries. Lebanon was seen as strategically important for expansion in the Middle East, serving as a site for crossborder advertising. While there have been periodic attempts to introduce restrictions on advertising and imposition of health warnings, these efforts have been largely unsuccessful. The tobacco industry has been highly effective at undermining ongoing efforts to introduce stronger tobacco control measures. Given continued political instability, to the present day TTCs have effectively used strong political and economic alliances to limit the scope of tobacco control measures. Lebanon's obligations, in implementing the FCTC, will require the government to demonstrate a far greater commitment to tobacco control and for public health advocates to work more strategically to counter the influence of the tobacco industry.

Learning Objectives:
1-Identify tobacco industry influencing strategies to undermine tobacco control measures. 2-Identify ways to preempt barriers put to tobacco control passage. 3- List two tobacco control measures that failed to be adopted.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This research is part of research for my doctoral degree thesis
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.