Advocacy perspectives for strengthened global tobacco control and taxation
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Union for International Cancer Control, Geneva, Switzerland
Cancer Research UK, London, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2022-07-05
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2022;8(Supplement):A80
UICC has developed a tobacco control strategy with a vision to reduce the number of smokers globally and the number of tobaccorelated deaths by 2030. One objective is to encourage countries to raise the level of taxes charged on tobacco and nicotine products. This vision is aligned with CRUK’s strategy which focuses on cancer prevention measures and achieving greater impact by partnering with international organizations to deliver programs and share and amplify resources and expertise.

The aim is to identify gaps and opportunities for the development of tobacco control programs, especially focusing on taxation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

UICC and CRUK conducted a scoping project which included key informant interviews with individuals representing organizations active in tobacco control to share perspectives and exchange information on progress, obstacles, and opportunities.

The main challenges cited by the interviewees were the limited knowledge of taxation held by civil society and health/cancer advocates, and the lack of political will of governments to develop or implement tobacco tax policies. This was confounded by government’s lack of awareness of the benefits of tobacco tax policies. Interviewees noted that TII plays a significant role in suppressing government enthusiasm for tax increases. Analysis of all responses showed that capacity building of CSOs and advocates is essential to support policy development and implementation, as well as dialogue with national authorities. External factors such as having strong relationships with government policy makers and the presence of champions in both CSOs and governmental bodies further enable the development and enforcement of tobacco taxation policies.

The analysis of the data collected through the key informant interviews showed several common themes which were viewed as fundamental to developing successful advocacy on tobacco control. These themes encompass the importance of evidenceinformed advocacy, sustainable approaches to policy change, addressing tobacco industry interference, utilizing COVID-19 recovery, critical nature of collaboration and partnerships, and establishing champions.

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