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Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control: Making Smoking History

ISBN: 978-0-470-69163-2
344 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control: Making Smoking History (0470691638) cover image
Simon Chapman is one of the world’s leading advocates for tobacco control, having won the coveted Luther Terry and WHO medals. His experience straddles 30 years of activism, highly original research and analysis, having run advocacy training on every continent and editing the British Medical Journal’s Tobacco Control research journal. In this often witty and personal book, he lays out a program for making smoking history. He eviscerates ineffective approaches, condemns overly enthusiastic policies which ignore important ethical principles, and provides a cookbook of strategy and tactics for denormalising smoking and the industry which promotes it.

Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control is divided into two sections. The first contains chapters spanning such key topics as the place of advocacy in tobacco control, ethical issues, smoking cessation and prevention, harm reduction and product regulation and the denormalisation of smoking. The second section provides an invaluable A-Z of tobacco control advocacy strategy from Accuracy to Whistleblowers.

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PART I. Major Challenges for Tobacco Control This Century.

1 Death is Inevitable, So Why Bother With Tobacco Control?.

Ethical Issues and Tobacco Control.

2 The Place of Advocacy in Tobacco Control.

3 The News on Smoking.

4 Dead Customers are Unprofitable Customers: Potential and Pitfalls in Harm Reduction and Product Regulation.

5 Accelerating Smoking Cessation and Prevention in Whole Communities.

6 The Denormalisation of Smoking.

7 Vector Control: Controlling the Tobacco Industry and its Promotions.

8 Making Smoking History: How Low Can We Go?.

Part II An A–Z of Tobacco Control Advocacy Strategy.


Ten basic questions for planning advocacy strategy.




Action alerts.

Advertising in advocacy.

Analogies, metaphors, similes and word pictures.


Be there! The first rule of advocacy.



Bureaucratic constraints.



Creative epidemiology.

Criticising government.


Divide and rule.




Engaging communities.

Fact sheets.



Inside and outside the tent.


Interview strategies.

Jargon and ghetto language.

Know your opposition.

Learning from other campaigners.

Letters to politicians.

Letters to the editor.

Local newspapers.

Mailing lists.

Marginal seats.

Media cannibalism (or how media feed off each other).

Media conferences.

Media etiquette.

Media logs.

Media releases (press releases).

Meeting with the tobacco industry.

Networks and coalitions.

Online polls.

Op-ed opinion page access.

Open letters.

Opinion polls.




Pictures and graphics.



Press agencies.

Private sector alliances.

Publicising others’ research.


Reporters and journalists.

Scream test.


Slow news days.

Strategic research.

Talent (spokespeople).

Talkback (access) radio.

Targeting or narrowcasting.


Wolves in sheep’s clothing

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Simon Chapman is Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney. He is the author of 11 books and major government reports, 302 papers and 112 letters and commentaries in peer reviewed journals. He is the Editor of the BMJ journal "Tobacco Control".
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  • Evidence-based
  • Internationally renowned author
  • Includes an A-Z of advocacy strategy
  • Contains case studies
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"Anyone remotely interested in public health advocacy, ethics, and policy - not only related to tobacco - will find it a rewarding read. Chapman blends history, policy, ethics, and advocacy in a witty, engaging, and accessible way." British Medical Journal<!--end-->

"This important text explores what needs to be done globally for effective tobacco control in the early decades of the 21st century."
Nursing Standard

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