Intimidation experienced by the tobacco control community – new research

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A new study from the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG), published in Tobacco Control, explores the forms of industry intimidation experienced by the tobacco control community in low and middle-income countries. The study suggests how this can result in tobacco control work being disrupted and, in some cases, prevented altogether.

Intimidation tactics reported ranged from media and social media slurs, legal action, as well as more covert tactics such as including threatening messages, cyberattacks, physical intimidation and even violence, burglaries and theft, surveillance, and formal complaints.

Such attacks were described as having an effect at organisational level, taking up valuable time and resources, limiting the ability of those in tobacco control to work collaboratively, and preventing researchers and advocates from sharing their findings.

The authors suggest that governments could mandate tools and procedures under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to protect those who are working in this area.

Read the full paper here.

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