Tobacco industry tactics to retail vendors in Sri Lanka
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ADIC, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A90
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Mainly Tobacco industry depends on retail tobacco vendors. Community groups and heath people are empowered to minimize the availability of cigarettes in respective areas. Hence, Tobacco Company has started to lobby retail vendors for continuing selling cigarettes.

Intervention or response:
A study was carried out by ADIC with cigarette retail vendors in Hambantota city. A structured questioner and observation were used as data collection methods. Trained field officers interviewed 31 retail tobacco vendors. Questions were related to knowledge of harm done by cigarette and attitude on Tobacco Company. Observation was used to identify cigarette promotions inside retail shops.

Results and lessons learnt:
Result reveled that the main reason (25 out of 31 responds) for cigarette selling is as an essential item of a shop. Even cigarette profit is comparative to low it helps to sell other goods. 8 Vendors stated that they had participated conferences organized by Tobacco Company. Tobacco company educated vendors on what benefit the business could got by selling cigarettes.
Another strategy has been identified during the study. Tobacco Company has been introduced award system for cigarette vendors. It is named as "Abisheka" (anointed vendors). Six cigarette vendors named as anointed vendors. Those vendors got certificates and privilege cards for business.
Attitude regarding cigarette business examined at the study. 18 vendors of 31 did justification of harm done by cigarette because they made argument that other product may harm. They did not believe tobacco industry do marketing to children majority of responds (77%) said that smoking was adult choice.
Cigarette promotions could be identified in different ways because tobacco promotion was prohibited. We found that promotional item such as board was displayed as a vendor's message. Awarded shops got colourfull cashier point and showcase for cigarettes.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Tobacco industry cheats vendors as Trojans to continuing cigarette selling.

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