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Tobacco control activists in Africa draw strategies to counter tobacco industry’ use of intermediaries, allies

By Kabuye Ronald

The tobacco control activists in Africa especially in Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria have resolved on some of the strategies to use to counter the tobacco industry’s use of front groups, intermediaries and allies to foster its business.

The strategies and recommendation were drawn from “The big tobacco allies report” a research conducted from the three African countries that is: Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria which was presented during the Webinar attended by over 200 participant across the global.

The Ugandan report presented by the Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA), National coordinator Richard Baguma Tinkasimiire called for the need to expose and counter the Corporate Social Responsibility and publicity generated by the Tobacco Industry, full implementations of the Tobacco control act, prosecution of the tobacco industry groups and allies especially the public officials.

The three reports from three countries doubled “The Big Tobacco Allies” also recommended Mass education specifically of the youth on the dangers of tobacco use compared to the benefits of tobacco to the country, raise awareness and condemn the evil actions of the tobacco industry and front groups.

They also called for stoppage of all the economic incentives and benefits to the Tobacco Industry.

The recommendations follow the findings of the research carried out in the three countries where it was discovered that the tobacco industry mainly guise under the corporate social responsibility to drive their agendas and foster business.

The industry also uses influencers, public officials, artists, musicians, law makers to drive their agendas.

Statistics from the World Health Organization show that Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of the deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second hand smoke.

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