Big Tobacco, Tiny Targets: Campaign success in passing a TAPS ban in Georgia and keys to campaign success
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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Baltimore, United States
Tobacco Free Kids, United States
Publication date: 2022-07-05
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2022;8(Supplement):A83
Greater exposure to tobacco advertising at point-of-sale (POS) is associated with a greater likelihood of smoking among youth. Data on cigarette advertising and promotional tactics at POS within a short walking distance of schools and playgrounds were collected in 42 countries as part of the Big Tobacco, Tiny Targets (BTTT) campaign.

This case study describes campaign success in Georgia and keys to success.

Policy adoption was classified as a campaign success where subnational and/or national tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS) regulations were adopted during or within one year of BTTT campaign activities concluding. Keys to success were determined through discussions with campaign staff who closely interacted with in-country partners.

Local advocates observed tobacco advertising and promotion at 640 POS in Tbsili, Georgia; 79% (n=512) of these retailers, within 250 m of schools, sold tobacco. The majority of these displayed cigarettes near kid-friendly snacks and drinks and displayed cigarette ads at the eye level of children. Advocates engaged in stakeholder meetings, including the MOH, the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, and the Healthcare Committee of Parliament and shared campaign materials, resulting in significant media coverage throughout 2016 and 2017. A TAPS ban was implemented in 2018. Campaign successes in Georgia can be credited to: 1) mobilization of diverse advocate groups, 2) a campaign message that resonates with policymakers and public, 3) development of a narrative that utilizes compelling photos, 4) local evidence, 5) targeting the tobacco industry as the ‘villain’, and 6) having a call to action. The campaign has also proven helpful to tobacco control groups in other countries, contributing to positive tobacco control policy outcomes in 15 other countries.

BTTT can serve as a campaign model for successfully engaging stakeholders and promoting tobacco control policy change, particularly TAPS policies.

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