Table 2

Strategies used to undermine tobacco control in Nigeria and counter strategies used by tobacco control advocates

PolicyDystopia Model22Discursive (arguments-based) strategies
WHO identified categories23Tobacco industry strategiesTobacco advocates’ strategies
1. Manoeuvring to hijack the political and legislative process.No need for new law since the industry is ‘self-regulating’.
  • Tobacco regulations are pursued by progressive governments all over the world.

  • Framework Convention on Tobacco Control complaint laws would save lives.

2. Exaggerating the economic importance of the industry.
  • Laws will lead to job losses including farmers’ losses.

  • Laws will discourage foreign direct investment due to higher taxes.

  • No provision in the proposed bill to shut down any tobacco company.

  • Used information on industry website on employment statistics to counter argument on job losses.

  • Investigated the number and type of farms involved in tobacco farming as well as the economic conditions under which such farmers work.

3. Manipulating public opinion to gain the appearance of respectability.
  • Visibility in the media (subtle advertisement through newspaper articles).

  • Highlighting contributions to society in the media.

  • Engaging the media to write about the dangers of smoking and about the positive public support for tobacco control.44

  • Mobilising the public to make their voices heard during public hearings at the National Assembly.

4. Fabricating support through front groups.Unknown if strategy was used.Unknown if strategy was used.
5. Discrediting proven science.Unknown if strategy was used.Unknown if strategy was used.
6. Intimidating governments with litigation or the threat of litigation.Unknown if strategy was used.Unknown if strategy was used.