Australian run website dedicated to reducing harmful drinking and harms from alcohol among young people. Provides accessible insight into the structure of Australian alcohol industry.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education is an independent charitable organisation working to prevent the harmful use of alcohol in Australia via research, advocacy, and providing information to the public.
Run by FARE (Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education) Drink Tank aims to generate meaningful commentary and debate about alcohol policy. Frequent contributors are policy academics and public health advocates.
Tobacco Tactics is a unique academic resource that explores how the tobacco industry influences policy and public health in the UK, the EU, and internationally.
Tobacco in Australia is a comprehensive review of the major issues in smoking and health in Australia, compiled by the Cancer Council Victoria.
Corporations and Health Watch, seeks to provide a forum where researchers, public health professionals, advocates and others can exchange information and compare strategies to reduce the harm from corporate practices across industries and countries.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Corporate lobbying presents formidable challenges for public health policies worldwide.
There are clear double standards in handling of alcohol research evidence because industry actors prefer policies unlikely to be effective. The potential for corporations to interfere with the evaluation of evidence by policy makers needs to be curtailed if alcohol harms are to be reduced and other public goods promoted.
Australian universities should adopt a standard approach to the declaration and management of competing interests and commit to meaningful transparency and public accountability.
In contrast to the fragmented and inconsistent response from government and NGOs, the alcohol industry was organised and united, with multiple submissions from the sector with most at stake, namely the hospitality industry, and supporting submissions from the manufacturing, import, and wholesale sectors.
Whilst industry actors may be deeply divided on certain issues they are able to coordinate their positions on occasions where there are clear advantages in so doing. Health policymakers may benefit from an awareness of the multiplicity of interests within the industry and the ways that these may shape collective lobbying positions.
‘Social aspects/public relations’ organizations (SAPROs) serve the agenda of lending credibility to industry claims of corporate responsibility, while promoting ineffective industry- friendly interventions and creating doubt about interventions which have a strong evidence base. Drinkwise has been used by the alcohol industry to create an impression of social responsibility while promoting interventions that maintain profits and campaigning against effective intervention
Confronted by compelling peer-reviewed scientific evidence of the harms of smoking, the tobacco industry, beginning in the 1950s, used sophisticated public relations approaches to undermine and distort the emerging science.
The tactics used by the tobacco industry to resist government regulation of its products include conducting public relations campaigns, buying scientific and other expertise to create controversy about established facts, funding political parties, hiring lobbyists to influence policy, using front groups and allied industries to oppose tobacco control measures, pre-empting strong legislation by pressing for the adoption of voluntary codes or weaker laws, and corrupting public officials. These tactics are largely transferrable to other industries.
The tobacco industry has historically tried to keep tobacco taxes low using consistent tactics and misleading arguments. Key industry tactics include: establishing ‘front groups’, securing credible allies, direct lobbying and publicity campaigns. These tactics are largely transferrable to other industries.
The alcohol industry's political activity is more varied than existing models of corporate political activity suggest. The industry's opposition to marketing regulation centres on claims that the industry is responsible and that self-regulation is effective. The alcohol industry argues against marketing regulation by emphasizing industry responsibility and the effectiveness of self-regulation, questioning the effectiveness of statutory regulation and by focusing on individual responsibility. Arguments relating to industry responsibility are often reinforced through corporate social responsibility activities. The industry primarily conveys its arguments through manipulating the evidence base and by promoting ineffective voluntary codes and non-regulatory initiatives.
These once confidential internal documents provide new evidence on the drinks industry’s concerns about possible alcohol control measures and the strategies used to help overcome these concerns. The document findings justify the public health community’s cynicism about the alcohol industry while providing a new source of information to assist development in the regulation and control of the drinks industry.
Bond, L., Daube, M., Chikritzhs, T. (2009) Access to Confidential Alcohol Industry Documents: From ‘Big Tobacco’ to ‘Big Booze’. Australasian Medical Journal. 1(3):1-26
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This paper provides evidence that alcohol and tobacco companies are similar in a number of ways and there is scope to use these similarities in developing more effective public health approaches to addressing alcohol consumption and related harms
In this paper, we describe an analysis of alcohol policy initiatives sponsored by alcohol producer SABMiller and the International Center on Alcohol Policies, an alcohol industry-funded organization. In a number of sub-Saharan countries these bodies have promoted a ‘partnership’ role with governments to design national alcohol policies
A small group of health workers succeeded in getting the largest tobacco advertising campaign in Australia banned by testing a clause in the advertising industry's voluntary code of self-regulation. The group complained about a series of cigarette advertisements that featured an Australian entertainer who was popular with the young. Though the tobacco company denied the entertainer's major appeal to the young, the chairman of the Advertising Standards Council ruled that the campaign did breach the code. The delay before the complaint was adjudicated--18 months--contrasted with the speed with which a series of anti-smoking advertisements had been withdrawn after complaints by a tobacco company's advertisers. MOP UP's victory in this case contains several lessons for people interested in restricting the promotional activities of multinational tobacco companies.
This article is a response to DeJong and Hoffman's critique of the Massachusetts anti-tobacco television advertisements. It presents data on the recall and perceived effectiveness of the advertisements by a representative sample of adults and youth, and summarizes a previously published analysis of the impact of exposure to the advertisements on progression to regular smoking among youth. These data indicate that the campaign has achieved high levels of penetration into the population that the advertisements are seen by the public to be effective, and that high levels of reported exposure are associated with reductions in teen smoking.
Objective: To outline social psychological principles that could influence the psychosocial and behavioural effects of tobacco warning labels, and to inform the development of more effective tobacco warning labels. Conclusions: Tobacco warning labels represent a potentially effective method of influencing attitudes and behaviours. This review describes social psychological principles that could be used to guide the creation of more effective warning labels. The potential value of incorporating warning labels into a broader public health education campaign is discussed, and directions for future research are suggested.
Objective: To document the Australian tobacco industry’s activities regarding youth smoking to support tobacco control. Conclusions: The arbitrary distinction between 17 and 18 year olds is, particularly in Australia’s dark market, a liability for tobacco control and an opportunity for the industry, which is attempting to claim the high moral ground traditionally occupied by tobacco control on the youth issue. The current review of Australia’s Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act of 1992 should prohibit all forms of industry communication targeting young people, including retail access and schools programs and below-the-line marketing. Tobacco control advocacy should highlight the industry’s attempts to use the youth issue in its own favour while laying the blame elsewhere.
Objective: To review critically the history of Australian tobacco industry efforts to avoid, delay, and dilute pack warnings on cigarettes. Conclusions: Efforts by governments to introduce potent health warnings will be resisted by the tobacco industry. Tobacco control advocates should anticipate and counter the strategies and arguments used by the industry, which are described in this paper if they wish to maximise the use of the pack as a vehicle for raising awareness about the harms of smoking.
Objective: To document the impact of changes to tobacco taxes on the range and price of tobacco sold during the period when the National Tobacco Campaign (NTC) was run. Conclusion: The fall in smoking prevalence over the first two phases of the NTC was substantially greater than would be expected due to tax changes alone. The fall in smoking consumption over the first two phases was slightly less than would be expected and in the third considerably higher than would be expected.
Sponsors of tobacco use prevention ad campaigns should consider using ads showing tobacco-related disease and suffering, not just counter-industry ads. Ads should be copy tested before airing.
Objectives: To better understand how the tobacco industry responds to tobacco control activists, we explored Philip Morris’s response to demands that consumers in developing countries be informed about smoking risks, and analyzed the implications of negotiating with a tobacco company. Conclusions: Tobacco companies can appear to accommodate public health demands while securing strategic advantages. Negotiating with the tobacco industry can enhance its legitimacy and facilitate its ability to market deadly cigarettes without corresponding benefits to public health.
Objectives: This paper reviews available research into the probable impact of mandatory plain packaging and internal tobacco industry statements about the importance of packs as promotional vehicles. It critiques legal objections raised by the industry about plain packaging violating laws and international trade agreements.
Conclusions: Requiring plain packaging is consistent with the intention to ban all tobacco promotions. There is no impediment in the FCTC to interpreting tobacco advertising and promotion to include tobacco packs.
We analyzed tobacco industry documents and ethnographic data to show how tobacco companies used this argument in the case of Malawi, producing and disseminating reports promoting claims of losses of jobs and foreign earnings that would result from the impending passage of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). In addition, they influenced the government of Malawi to introduce resolutions or make amendments to tobacco-related resolutions in meetings of United Nations organizations, succeeding in temporarily displacing health as the focus in tobacco control policy-making. However, these efforts did not substantially weaken the FCTC.
This paper provides a comprehensive account of how the tobacco industry, over time, has promoted its products to young people.
Objectives: To assess the impact of tobacco control policies relating to youth access, clean indoor air and tobacco advertising at point-of-sale and outdoors, in addition to cigarette price and per capita tobacco control spending, on adolescent smoking prevalence.
Conclusions: Adult-directed, population-based tobacco control policies such as clean indoor air laws and increased prices of cigarettes, implemented as part of a well-funded comprehensive tobacco control programme are associated with lower adolescent smoking.
Background: Policy-makers need estimates of the impact of tobacco control (TC) policies to set priorities and targets for reducing tobacco use. We systematically reviewed the independent effects of TC policies on smoking behaviour.
Interpretations: We found evidence of an independent effect for several TC policies on smoking prevalence. However, we could not derive precise estimates of the effects across different settings because of variability in the characteristics of the intervention, level of policy enforcement, and underlying tobacco control environment.
Wilson, L.M., Tang, E.A., Chander, G., Hutton, H.E., Odelola, O.A., Elf, J.L., Heckman-Stoddard, B.M., Bass, E.B., Little, E.A., Haberl, E.B., Apelberg, B.J. (2012) Impact of Tobacco Control Interventions on Smoking Initiation, Cessation, and Prevalence: A Systematic Review. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. Article ID: 961724, 36p.
Objective: To determine whether smokers smoking from packs required under Australia's plain packaging law had different smoking beliefs and quitting thoughts, compared with those still smoking from branded packs.
Conclusions: The early indication is that plain packaging is associated with lower smoking appeal, more support for the policy and more urgency to quit among adult smokers.
This review highlights the recent data regarding electronic cigarette toxicity, impact on lung function, and efficacy in smoking reduction and cessation. Studies show that the vapor generated from electronic cigarettes has variable amounts of nicotine and potential harmful toxins, albeit at levels lower than in conventional cigarettes. The long-term carcinogenic and lung function effects of electronic cigarettes are not known. Although some data demonstrate that electronic cigarettes may be effective in reducing conventional cigarette consumption, there are no data demonstrating the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as a tool to achieve cessation. Until robust longitudinal evaluations demonstrate the safety of electronic cigarettes and efficacy in treatment of tobacco dependence, their role as a harm reduction tool is unclear.
Background: Cigarette packaging is a key marketing strategy for promoting brand image. Plain packaging has been proposed to limit brand image, but tobacco companies would resist removal of branding design elements.
Conclusion: Plain packaging policies that remove most brand design elements are likely to be most successful in removing cigarette brand image associations.
A review of some of the tobacco company tactic
An analysis of the tobacco industry's attempt to discredit the scientific evidence on passive smoking, particularly the industry's use of the label “junk science.” Environmental epidemiologic studies in other arenas have also been targets for the “junk science” label.
Reports, Articles and Other Resources
A guide to the alcohol industry in Australia. Outlines the major alcohol companies and the products they produce, own, distribute or market.
A guide to the major alcohol sales outlets (packaged liquor, aka off-premises) in Australia.
A guide to the peak bodies and representative groups relevant to the alcohol industry in Australi
Industry funded report providing valuable insight into marketing and strategies of global spirits industry.
Discussion Piece: If governments choose to prioritise commercial interests, they place health scientists in the invidious position of helping inflict damage on public health.
Kypros Kypri, The Conversation
Discussion Piece: High profile campaigns that don’t reduce consumption or profits are favoured by industry.
Peter Miller- The Conversation
A big part of Diageo's recent activity has been influencing the UK Government's policies on alcohol. Diageo has developed close ties with government policy makers in an effort to limit the statutory regulation of alcohol, and to steer government policy into protecting its own interests.
Summary of expansive research program. The first systematic independent Australian research on casinos; how they are run and how they are regulated. Has international application.
Linda Hancock- Deakin University
Discussion Piece: The Coalition’s policy to combat problem gambling is treatment focused, excludes potential online competitors and makes no funding commitment. How did Clubs Australia influence its creation?
Charles Livingston, The Conversation
Discussion Piece: According to a new report, academic research into gambling is heavily biased, and controlled by industry and government.
Charles Livingston, Francis Markham, Martin Young- The Conversation
Discussion Piece: Anyone looking for good quality evidence about the consequences of gambling first needs to understand how knowledge about gambling is produced. How do we know what we know? Who dictates the research agenda? How is research funded? How do we ensure that we have a sound base of impartial knowledge on which to build policy? The answers to these questions are profoundly depressing.
Rebecca Cassidy, Charles Livingston- The Conversation
Discussion Piece: Why would anybody want to work with companies where success will result in more lung cancers, more heart disease, more respiratory disease, more suffering, more premature deaths? Who would want to work for a disreputable industry where even the suggestion of a “dirty tricks” campaign has instant plausibility?
Mike Daube- The Conversation
The focus in this chapter is on the strategies used by the tobacco industry to deny, downplay, distort and dismiss the growing evidence that, like active smoking, environmental tobacco smoke causes lung cancer and other effects in non-smokers.
Discussion Piece: Gagging clauses in contracts permit purchasers of research to modify, substantially delay, or prohibit the reporting of findings.
Kypros Kypri- The Conversation
Discussion Piece: We shouldn’t be surprised that the alcohol industry is now using many of the same tactics as Big Tobacco. It has followed the example of the tobacco industry.
Wayne Hall, Mike Daube- The Conversation
Chapter looking at the neuroscience tactics of industries like alcohol and tobacco.
Miller, P., Carter, A., DeGroot, F.