Objective: To develop a comprehensive conceptual framework of tobacco industry tactics in four countries in South East Asia for the purpose of: (1) generating consensus on key areas of importance and feasibility for regional and cross country tobacco industry monitoring and surveillance; (2) developing measures to track and monitor the effects of the tobacco industry and to design counterstrategies; and (3) building capacity to improve tobacco control planning in the participating countries.
Design: A structured conceptualisation methodology known as concept mapping was used. The process included brainstorming, sorting and rating of statements describing industry activities. Statistical analyses used multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. Interpretation of the maps was participatory, using regional tobacco control researchers, practitioners, and policy makers during a face to face meeting.
Participants: 31 participants in this study come from the four countries represented in the project along with six people from the Johns Hopkins Blomberg School of Public Health.
Conclusions: The map shows eight clusters of industry activities within the four countries. These were arranged into four general sectors: economics, politics, public relations and deception. For project design purposes, the map indicates areas of importance and feasibility for monitoring tobacco industry activities and serves as a basis for an initial discussion about action planning. Furthermore, the development of the map used a consensus building process across different stakeholders or stakeholder agencies and is critical when developing regional, cross border strategies for tracking and surveillance.
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Competing interests: None declared.