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Development of a model of the tobacco industry’s interference with tobacco control programmes
  1. W M K Trochim1,
  2. F A Stillman2,
  3. P I Clark3,
  4. C L Schmitt3
  1. 1Department of Policy Analysis & Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
  2. 2Institute of Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3Battelle Memorial Institute, Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 William M Trochim, 249 MVR Hall, Department of Policy Analysis & Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; 


Objective: To construct a conceptual model of tobacco industry tactics to undermine tobacco control programmes for the purposes of: (1) developing measures to evaluate industry tactics, (2) improving tobacco control planning, and (3) supplementing current or future frameworks used to classify and analyse tobacco industry documents.

Design: Web based concept mapping was conducted, including expert brainstorming, sorting, and rating of statements describing industry tactics. Statistical analyses used multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. Interpretation of the resulting maps was accomplished by an expert panel during a face-to-face meeting.

Subjects: 34 experts, selected because of their previous encounters with industry resistance or because of their research into industry tactics, took part in some or all phases of the project.

Results: Maps with eight non-overlapping clusters in two dimensional space were developed, with importance ratings of the statements and clusters. Cluster and quadrant labels were agreed upon by the experts.

Conclusions: The conceptual maps summarise the tactics used by the industry and their relationships to each other, and suggest a possible hierarchy for measures that can be used in statistical modelling of industry tactics and for review of industry documents. Finally, the maps enable hypothesis of a likely progression of industry reactions as public health programmes become more successful, and therefore more threatening to industry profits.

  • tobacco industry tactics
  • concept mapping
  • tobacco control programmes
  • ASSIST, American Stop Smoking Intervention Study
  • MDS, multidimensional scaling
  • UCSF/ANRF, University of California San Francisco/American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation

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  • * The Concept System Global© web software was used for all web processes on this project. Further information on the software may be obtained from Concept Systems Inc,

  • Detailed and intermediate results, including the original list of 226 brainstormed statements, can be obtained at

  • All analyses were accomplished and results produced using the Concept System software, version 1.75. Further information on the software may be obtained from Concept Systems Inc,