Table 1

Comparing HIV, tobacco and NCD movements

FocusOne disease with few interventions (improved access to antiretrovirals, along with expanded care and prevention services)One product with one primary form of consumption (smoking)Multiple diseases encompassing diverse risk factors, treatment regimes and populations affected
Readiness/political willUnderstood as a transnational security threat that could destabilise societies, already a history of big investments (eg, UNAIDS)Accepted cause of disease and death driven by an industry proven to lie and increasingly recognised as a social pariahCosts and consequences of inaction are invisible or understood, environment of economic hardship, competing with existing priorities
Marketability/perceptionInnocent victims; women/babies; acuteChildren and young adults swayed by marketing and retained by addictionOlder people, lifestyle choice
LeadershipVocal, coherent social movement led by UNAIDSAggressive leadership by WHO, social movements in many countriesDiverse social movements and no clear organisational leader
StrategyConsensus on specific ‘asks’, targets, and funding requestsConsensus on evidence-based policies, legal process (FCTC), and institutional leadership (WHO)Inability to devise a coherent plan on financial, policy and institutional ‘asks’
  • FCTC, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; NCD, non-communicable disease.