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 4,900 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 120 countries to ascertain which ones have e-cigarette policies at the national level, and as of November 2017, 83 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.
TAPS Compliance Guides
IGTC, in collaboration with CTFK and the Union, published two how-to guides on assessing compliance with Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship (TAPS) bans. They are designed to be tailored to the geographic area, culture, and legislative context of the study. The first edition, released in 2013, covers compliance assessment of TAPS activities as they occur in points of sale and in outdoor advertising, as well as those observed on tobacco packaging. A second edition of this guide released in 2014 focuses specifically on internet promotion, sponsored events, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) by tobacco companies. Both guides include easy-to-use observation forms.
Evaluating Compliance with Turkey's Smoke-Free Law
Protecting the public from tobacco smoke is a pillar of the MPOWER framework. Turkey’s smoke-free legislation was enacted in 2008 and extended to hospitality venues, including bars and cafes, in 2009. A benchmark study was conducted in 2013, followed by an assessment in January 2017 at the request of Turkey’s Ministry of Health. Researchers observed 44 hospitals and 33 narghile venues for a total of 503 indoor and 155 outdoor locations and 8172 people observed. Compliance was very low in coffeehouses: in these venues, cigarette smoking was observed 95% of the time, and narghile smoking was observed 89% of the time. In hospital dining areas, the presence of smoking was higher in 2017 than in 2013, and few non-smoking signs had penalty information. This study shows that an action plan is urgently needed to increase compliance with Turkey’s smoke-free legislation in hospitals and narghile cafes to protect the Turkish people from the serious health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke. A fact sheet has been developed summarizing the study and findings.