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Doctoral thesis
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Alcohol and Tobacco Control in the Philippines and Singapore: A Review of Policies and an Analysis of the Power of the Alcohol and Tobacco Industries in the Policy Process

ContributorsAmul, Gianna Gayleorcid
Number of pages79
Imprimatur date2024
Defense date2024-02-08
Abstract

Alcohol and tobacco use are among the top risk factors that drive death and disability in the Philippines and Singapore across all ages and genders, and in response, both countries have recently implemented various alcohol and tobacco control policies, but these policies and the industry’s role in shaping them are not well documented or analyzed. With the Philippines and Singapore as case studies, this PhD project aimed to (1) compare their alcohol and tobacco control laws and policies, (2) examine the power of the alcohol and tobacco industries in shaping alcohol and tobacco policies, and (3) identify key lessons and challenges for alcohol and tobacco control.

This PhD project consists of two studies. For both studies, we used relevant data extracted from the scientific literature, official policy documents, legislative proceedings, corporate documents, news articles, and secondary sources. The first study used the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as frameworks to develop policy scorecards for alcohol and tobacco. We then used these scorecards to assess the laws and policies in Singapore and the Philippines from a systems perspective. The second study used Lukes’s three typologies of power as an analytical tool to examine the power and tactics of the alcohol and tobacco industries in influencing policies. For the second study, we also conducted 30 in-depth interviews in Singapore and the Philippines, and a thematic analysis of these interviews provided insights into key lessons and challenges for alcohol and tobacco control.

The tobacco control scorecard showed that both the Philippines and Singapore scored high in tobacco control despite differences in their economic development and in their political and health systems. The alcohol control scorecard showed that alcohol control is relatively weak in the Philippines and moderate in Singapore, with both countries primarily focused on alcohol taxation. In both countries, the alcohol and tobacco industries utilized a wide range of tactics to exercise their instrumental, structural, and discursive power to influence the policy process. These industries employed lobbying, litigation or threat of litigation, revolving doors, and marketing to exercise their instrumental power. They exercised their structural power by exploiting their market dominance and public-private partnerships, by promoting self-regulation, and by benefiting from regulatory capture. These industries harnessed their discursive power through framing tactics, corporate social responsibility activities and public-private partnerships.

Because of the power of the alcohol and tobacco industries in both countries, it is difficult to institutionalize mechanisms that increase transparency and accountability in interactions between these industries and the government, other industries, the academic community and civil society organizations.

Our analysis provided the first comprehensive and in-depth review of tobacco and alcohol control policies in Singapore and the Philippines, and of the industries’ tactics and their impact on policymaking in these two countries.

eng
Keywords
  • Power
  • Alcohol policy
  • Tobacco control
  • Alcohol industry
  • Tobacco industry
  • Commercial determinants of health
  • Political determinants of health
  • Legal determinants of health
Citation (ISO format)
AMUL, Gianna Gayle. Alcohol and Tobacco Control in the Philippines and Singapore: A Review of Policies and an Analysis of the Power of the Alcohol and Tobacco Industries in the Policy Process. 2024. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:176882
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Creation05/07/2024 7:35:55 AM
First validation05/07/2024 11:37:34 AM
Update time05/07/2024 11:37:34 AM
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