Format of Original
BMJ Publishing Group
Original Item ID
DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052250, PubMed Central: PMC4887414
Purpose: Policy misalignment across different sectors of government serves as one of the pivotal barriers to WHO Framework convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) implementation. This paper examines the logic used by government officials to justify providing investment incentives to increase tobacco processing and manufacturing in the context of FCTC implementation in Zambia.
Methods: We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with key informants from government, civil society and intergovernmental economic organizations (n=23). We supplemented the interview data with an analysis of public documents pertaining to economic development policy in Zambia.
Results: We found gross misalignments between the policies of the economic sector and efforts to implement the provisions of the FCTC. Our interviews uncovered the rationale used by officials in the economic sector to justify providing economic incentives to bolster tobacco processing and manufacturing in Zambia: 1) tobacco is not consumed by Zambians/tobacco is an export commodity, 2) economic benefits outweigh health costs, and 3) tobacco consumption is a personal choice.
Conclusions: Much of the struggle Zambia has experienced implementing the FCTC can be attributed to misalignments between the economic and health sectors. Zambia’s development agenda seeks to bolster agricultural processing and manufacturing. Tobacco control proponents must understand and work within this context of economic development in order to foster productive strategies with those working on tobacco supply issues. These findings are broadly applicable to the global analysis on the barriers and facilitators of FCTC implementation. It is important that the Ministry of Health monitors the tobacco policy of other sectors and engages with these sectors to find ways of harmonizing FCTC implementation across sectors.