Tracing heated tobacco products in Bulgaria’s mass media content
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BlueLink Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A62
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The use of new heated tobacco products is cautiously monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO), and their use is subject to thorough scientific analysis. But in the meantime, the tobacco industry has harnessed enormous power to launch them on the market. Following upon accounts of Bulgarian journalists who cover tobacco issues, we investigate the tactics and methods by which the tobacco industry achieves its communication goals and launches its new products in Bulgaria.
The report covers the following issues of research interest:
• What legal and ethical norms regulate the coverage of the new heated tobacco products (NHTP) in the media; how and to what extent they differ from those existing for traditional tobacco products; how and to what extent they are applied in Bulgaria;
• What are the parameters of the media communication regarding NHTP and what part of it is promotional, i.e. presents them in a positive light;
• What tactics, techniques, tricks and methods the industry uses to launch NHTP in media communication;
• What is the participation of journalists and other media professionals; and
• What are the possible steps to counter the manipulative media communication that serves industrial marketing at the expense of the public and health interests of the people?
With this report we present the outcomes of: analytical review of regulatory and self-regulatory mechanisms, as well as other sources affecting the communication of tobacco companies and current practice in Bulgaria; quantitative and qualitative analysis of media content related to new heated tobacco products, based on detailed monitoring of online media content; and monitoring through participation and analysis of several key cases that provide answers to some of the questions asked.
This study was funded and supported by the Smoke-Free Life Coalition in Bulgaria, as part of a grant by The Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
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