The tobacco industry has fought hard against regulations on tobacco advertising. The industry has used charitable organizations, sporting events, and some academics to achieve its objectives. The level of regulatory control of tobacco sales and consumption is insufficient, as demonstrated by the continuing sale of tobacco to children, smoking in designated non-smoking areas, and advertising at sales points.
Past research on tobacco has been poorly coordinated. Research topics have reflected individual scholars’ interests, rather than gaps in knowledge. Results have not been properly disseminated. As a result, basic information necessary for designing policies and campaigns has been lacking, particularly for areas outside Bangkok.
- Annual seminar on “Cigarettes vs. National Health”
An annual seminar on “Cigarettes vs. National Health” will be established. The seminar will facilitate exchanges among researchers, campaigners, and members of the general public, and will encourage people working on smoking control to form networks.
- Development of academic center for smoking control
An academic center on smoking control will be established to undertake training and research on cigarettes and health. The institution will also support legal and economic measures, and will help expose unethical practices by the tobacco industry.
- Develop public policies for tobacco control
The program will support research and provision of information, and will identify best practices for curing smoking dependency. It will work for enforcement of regulations, will attempt to counter the strategies of multinational tobacco companies, and will carry out litigation.
There will be regular meetings with the ThaiHealth advisory board on smoking control. Proposals for anti-smoking activities will be submitted regularly to the National Tobacco Consumption Control Committee.
- Development of surveillance system for smoking control
Procedures will be developed for collecting and organizing basic data that are useful for smoking control. These include detailed information on smoking prevalence and measures of the health impact of smoking.
- Development of model clinics for quitting smoking
In collaboration with various organizations, we aim to develop effective approaches for quitting smoking, including the establishment of special clinics. These clinics must be replicable, and will act as models for public health officials to adopt.
- Development of smoking-free networks
We will encourage individuals and organizations campaigning against smoking to establish networks that monitor cigarette companies and lobby for anti-tobacco laws.
- Campaign for reduction of smoking in public places
We will work with the media to disseminate the message that breathing other people’s cigarette smoke is harmful and that smoking in prohibited in many areas.
- Support the enforcement of smoking control measures
We will campaign for improved enforcement of the 1992 Tobacco Products Control Act and the 1992 Non-smokers’ Health Protection Act. These Acts prohibit the sale of cigarettes to minors, smoking in public places, free distribution of samples, advertising through modified trade marks, production and sale of tobacco-like products, and failure to declare all components in tobacco. The campaigns will be conducted in cooperation with many groups throughout civil society.