The Asian environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) consultants programme

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Care and Feeding: The Asian environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) consultants programme Published paper by M. Assunta, N. Fields, J. Knight, S. Chapman, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Tobacco Control, Volume 13, 2004, pages ii4-ii12

The authors reviewed tobacco industry documents about the tobacco industry’s Asian environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) consultants program, focusing on the three key nations of China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

They found that release of the 1986 U.S. Surgeon General’s report on secondhand smoke provoked tobacco companies to prepare for a major threat to their industry. Asian program activities included conducting national/international symposiums, conducting consultant "road shows" and carrying out extensive lobbying and media activities. The industry exploited confounding factors said to be unique to Asian societies such as diet, culture and urban pollution to downplay the health risks of ETS. The industry consultants were said to be "...prepared to do the kinds of things they were recruited to do." The program was successful in blurring the science on ETS and keeping the controversy alive both nationally and internationally. For the duration of the project, it also successfully dissuaded national policy makers from instituting comprehensive bans on smoking in public places.

Full article available at: "Care and feeding": the Asian environmental tobacco smoke consultants programme


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