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A Movement Rising: A Strategic Analysis of U.S. Tobacco Control Advocacy

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Publication Date: March 1999

Publisher(s): The Advocacy Institute; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Author(s): The Advocacy Institute

Topic: Health (Licensing and regulation)

Type: Report


This report is a comprehensive strategic analysis of the United States tobacco control movement as of 1998. The "movement" refers to the people and efforts dedicated to changing the public and private policies that control tobacco. Analysis was grounded upon an extensive series of interviews and consultations with veteran tobacco control advocates. The strategic analysis utilized the "ACT-ON" format (Advantages, Challenges, Threats, Opportunities and Next Steps) to identify salient issues, and the steps that should be taken to build a stronger tobacco control movement. Advantages internal to the movement include such things as new partnerships forged with public health and education organizations, trial lawyers, the faith community, elected policy-makers, pharmaceutical companies, and even tobacco growers. One example of a challenge to the movement is a lack of sufficient resources for state and local coalitions to effectively address all tobacco control policy objectives, coupled with a reluctance to set priorities. Despite the challenges and threats facing the tobacco movement, the $206 billion multi-state tobacco settlement of November 1998 presented a great opportunity for progress. The same year also held significant advances at the international level as Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland assumed the position of Director General of the World Health Organization and set tobacco control as a top health priority. This analysis recommends short-term common ground policy initiatives, funding and technical support needs, and long-term movement-building initiatives such as the integration of international and national tobacco control advocacy.