Print media study on communicate misleading information by tobacco industry
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Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC), Library & Information, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A665
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Objectives of this study are to; identify the new tactics of Ceylon Tobacco Company(CTC) making fabrications through media in order to decelerate the implementation of tobacco tax policies. It is proven that one of best sustainable tobacco control method is to hike cigarettes tax which reduces cigarette consumption. 2016, Sri Lankan government increased cigarettes tax thrice as never done before. CTC tried to demolish this effort by fabricating as they done before.

Intervention or response:
4 daily and 6 weekly different national newspapers which are highest circulation were selected. From 2016 January to 2017 June 2376 newspapers were analyzed in this study. The impact of perception on reader by articles, advertisement, cartoon, poem and stories of the implementation of tobacco tax hike were categorized. Under the category; reduction of smokers, discourage of smoking, increment of bidi smoking due to high price of cigarette, highlighting and pointing out that government loos the tax due to illegal cigarette, fabrication of stories that, if cigarette company shut down the number of families are more who lost their jobs and CTS's image building were identified.
The reports were sent to media institutes, politicians, policy makers and relevant authorities and made a dialogue among them.

Results and lessons learnt:
Identified fabricated and spread myths by CTC are; cigarette price hike turn smokers to bidi which is bad for health, illegal cigarettes will be common, if the company shut down government will be lost huge amount of tax. It also helped to identify the behavior is positive or negative of key persons in the country, media personnel, politician and policy makers. Further it revealed the media and persons who supported to CTC. Discourage the increment of cigarette tax were reported.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
This study helped to confirm that CTC make fabrications and spread them to demolish the law and regulations on tobacco tax hike.

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