Evaluation and Surveillance
The Institute for Global Tobacco Control conducts tobacco control evaluation and surveillance including development of compliance assessment guides and tracking tools, and policy evaluation research. In conjunction with our research, the tools we develop are used worldwide by members of the tobacco control community. Below are four examples of IGTC tools and methods to evaluate and conduct surveillance of tobacco control policies and tobacco company activities around the world:
Tobacco Pack Surveillance System Project
As traditional forms of tobacco advertising become restricted or banned in many countries, the tobacco industry uses the cigarette pack itself as a key marketing method to attract new smokers and retain current ones. IGTC developed the Tobacco Pack Surveillance System (TPackSS) project to systematically document the variety of cigarette packages available in the 14 low- and middle-income countries with the greatest number of smokers. The goal of TPackSS is to monitor whether required health warnings on tobacco packages are being implemented as intended, and to identify pack design features and marketing appeals that might violate or detract from country tobacco packaging requirements in these countries. To date, TPackSS has collected and archived over 6,600 cigarette packs, housed on the TPackSS searchable database. Products can be searched by product type, country, brand, collection year, and pack feature.
Global E-cigarette Policy Scan
The global e-cigarette policy scan was created in 2014 as a searchable database. It has evaluated over 130 countries to ascertain which ones have e-cigarette policies at the national level, and as of November 2020, more than 100 of these countries had such a policy. The scan provides a description of country-level laws that regulate e-cigarettes or other electronic nicotine delivery systems, searchable by policy domain, product classification, regulatory mechanism, and country. The database is updated twice a year, and the information is verified by in-country experts and/or Ministry of Health representatives. This is the first global scan of its kind and is free and accessible to the public.
Advancing Plain and Standardized Tobacco Packaging
Tobacco packs can be colorful, attractive, and come in exciting shapes and sizes. Plain and standardized packaging removes the potential for companies to use these attractive elements by only allowing the tobacco pack to be presented in one color, shape, and size that is designed to be minimally attractive. This policy stipulates that packs may contain no brand imagery, and also that the brand name be written in a specific font, color, and size. Australia was the first country to introduce plain and standardized packaging for cigarettes in 2011, with the law taking effect in 2012. As of January 2020, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia have fully implemented plain and standardized packaging laws at the retail level. Thailand, Uruguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Israel, Canada, Singapore, Belgium, and Hungary have all passed or adopted plain and standardized packaging laws and are awaiting full implementation. Many additional countries are either debating or considering similar policies.
Assessing Compliance with Tobacco Packaging
and Labeling Regulations
Tobacco companies use tobacco packaging as a way to promote and market their products and increase sales. In the absence of effective packaging and labeling requirements, the tobacco industry produces appealing packaging that creates brand recognition with the use of eye-catching colors, designs and trademarks. Tobacco companies exploit all elements of tobacco packaging to market their products including the outer film, tear tape, inner frame, pack inserts and onserts.
This guide, a partnership with CTFK and The Union, provides a step-by-step approach to conducting a compliance assessment on packaging and labeling. It takes into account the practical constraints that civil society groups may face when trying to conduct their own assessments and will present different options for how to conduct a compliance assessment given these constraints.
The report is available in six languages: