Exploring the benefits of a commercial determinants of health approach to tobacco control

New article promotes a joined-up approach to tackling industry influence across unhealthy commodities, building on the international success of tobacco control.

09 March 2022

A new article led by SPECTRUM members Professor Jeff Collin, University of Edinburgh, and Professor Sarah Hill, University of Sydney, explores the potential of a commercial determinants of health perspective for tobacco control.

The article was published in the 30th anniversary issue of Tobacco Control.

International success

Tobacco control is widely recognised for its international success in minimising industry engagement in policy and research, underpinned by Article 5.3 of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

With similarities across other unhealthy commodities, such as alcohol and unhealthy food, the authors highlight an important opportunity to strengthen tobacco control’s links with broader health and development agendas.

Breaking down silos

The success of tobacco control provides valuable learning points for other areas. It also faces challenges that will be more effectively addressed in collaboration across unhealthy commodities.

The authors propose that understanding and addressing tobacco from a commercial determinants of health perspective would facilitate the development of complementary approaches, driving collective action across unhealthy commodities to prevent industry influence and limit health harms.

By emphasising shared objectives, a commercial determinants of health perspective helps break down silos between tobacco control and other sectors, facilitating joined-up governance.

Read the article in full from Tobacco Control

Industry influence

The article points to the recently formed Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Improving Scotland's Health as one example of promoting a collaborative approach to limit industry influence.

Professor Jeff Collin and Professor Mark Petticrew recently presented evidence to the group, highlighting tactics used by unhealthy commodity industries to influence public health policy.

Read their blog on the topic at the link below

BLOG: Industry influence: a barrier to progress in public health policy