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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: Over the last three years, the leading role of NGOs in advocating tobacco control policies has developed significantly in the NIS region. The National Coalition “For smoke free Kazakstan” was officially established in November 2004 and within just one year had successfully lobbied the biggest local government in Kazakstan (Almaty City Council) to make tobacco control a priority.
Methods: The advocates of the Coalition developed an advocacy campaign model that required very small sums, but which led to successful raising of funds from the Almaty City Council budget. The key components of this campaign model were the monitoring of the national tobacco law by special groups, together with the production of strong video material and briefing material for the top decision-makers at a local level. The monitoring groups comprised journalists, local parliamentarians, police, health professionals and coalition advocates. The groups' activities secured significant mass-media coverage which created public pressure and resulted in tobacco smoking being identified as the city's biggest problem.
Results: Due to the persuasive efforts of the coalition advocates and the effective publicity strategy, the Council has approved a special city program called “Smokefree Almaty” with a budget of US$308,000 for 2006 and 2007 years with further budget increases planned for the future. It is the first locally financially-supported tobacco control initiative in Kazakstan and the whole NIS region. The National Coalition plans to run similar campaigns in six more regional centers across Kazakstan over the coming year.