An International Study of Tobacco and Alcohol Marketing Policy: Industry Influence and Compliance

  • Emily Savell

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Tobacco and alcohol are responsible for an estimated 12.5% of global deaths, a percentage which is set to rise. Evidence shows that tobacco and alcohol industry marketing influences smoking and drinking initiation and prevalence, and although tobacco marketing is increasingly regulated (including through the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a legally binding global treaty) controls on alcohol marketing remain more limited. There are three novel strands to this thesis. First, systematic reviews examining how the tobacco and alcohol industries have attempted to influence marketing regulations, and the development of two new taxonomies for tactic and argument categorisation. Second, a statistical analysis of the tobacco and alcohol marketing environments across a diverse range of countries, including the extent of any geographic or urban/rural differences. And third, an assessment of tobacco and alcohol industry compliance with national marketing regulations.Substantial commonalities between tobacco and alcohol industry activity were identified, suggesting that alcohol policy may benefit from reproducing efforts in tobacco control aimed at excluding industry from policy discussions. Additionally, data analysis showed that there were high levels of tobacco marketing despite FCTC ratification, and that exposure to alcohol marketing was even higher. Tobacco marketing was greatest whereas alcohol marketing was lowest in lower income countries, and both were significantly more common in urban communities. All FCTC-ratified countries had some tobacco marketing bans in place, whereas few countries had any comprehensive bans on alcohol marketing. Compliance was often poor, and exposure to tobacco marketing was commonly higher within countries with a full or partial ban compared to those without, whereas all forms of alcohol marketing were lower in countries with a full ban or some restrictions. The high levels of tobacco and alcohol marketing, and the generally low levels of compliance, highlight the urgent need for countries to implement and enforce comprehensive marketing controls, and supports calls for an FCTC-equivalent for alcohol.
Date of Award17 Mar 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAnna Gilmore (Supervisor), Gary Fooks (Supervisor) & Michelle Sims (Supervisor)

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