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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: For the past few years, several U.S. programs have been working to strengthen collaboration between North American tobacco control groups and groups in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern/Central Europe. Since tobacco companies operate in most countries around the world and employ similar strategies of tobacco promotion and tobacco control legislation prevention in different locations, it is vital that tobacco control advocates foster transnational strategies of information exchange, industry monitoring, and advocacy campaigning.
Methods: Essential Action, the San Francisco Tobacco Free Project, Reality Check and their partners have collaborated closely with groups in West Africa and South America for several years. This collaboration became the foundation for organizing two separate delegations of North American tobacco control advocates abroad – one to Senegal and Nigeria (February 2004) and another to Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil (August 2005) – to share experiences, document tobacco industry marketing and labor practices, and engage in joint advocacy activities in favor of FCTC ratification and smoke free workplaces. West African advocates subsequently traveled to the U.S. to participate in advocacy events with their U.S. partners. And ongoing collaborations between North and South American groups are focused on strengthening local tobacco control policies, e.g. smokefree places.
Results: Cross-border partnerships offer benefits to tobacco control advocacy efforts, e.g. access to vital information and resources, international support for local and national tobacco control policies, and a deeper understanding of the nature of the key adversary to effective tobacco control legislation, the tobacco industry.