Tobacco industry strategies to influence the regulation of new and emerging tobacco and nicotine products in Latin America and the Caribbean

Crosbie et al.


To document tobacco industry strategies to influence regulation of new and emerging tobacco and nicotine products (NETNPs) in Latin America and the Caribbean.


We analyzed industry websites, advocacy reports, news media and government documents related to NETNPs, focusing on electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products. We also conducted a survey of leading health advocates. We applied the policy dystopia model to analyze industry action and argumentbased strategies on NETNP regulations.


Industry actors engaged in four instrumental strategies to influence NETNP regulation – coalition management, information management, direct involvement in and access to the policy process, and litigation. Their actions included: lobbying key policy- makers, academics and vaping associations; providing grants to media groups to disseminate favorable NETNP information; participating in public consultations; presenting at public hearings; inserting industry-inspired language into draft NETNP legislation; and filing lawsuits to challenge NETNP bans. The industry disseminated its so-called harm reduction argument through large/influential countries (e.g., Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico). Industry discursive strategies claimed NETNPs were less harmful, provided safer alternatives, and should be regulated as so-called harm reduction products or have fewer restrictions on their sale and use than those currently in place.


Our analysis provides a better understanding of industry strategies to undermine tobacco and nicotine control. To help counter industry efforts, health advocates should proactively strengthen government capacities and alert policy-makers to industry attempts to create new regulatory categories (so-called reduced-risk products), provide misleading information of government authorizations of NETNPs, and co-opt so-called harm-reduction messages that serve the industry’s agenda.

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