Influencing politicians to implement comprehensive tobacco control: the power of news media
This chapter provides a brief practitioners' guide to some fundamental principles of tobacco control advocacy in its core tasks of convincing politicians to act and supporting them when they do. Politicians, particularly health ministers, are of absolutely cardinal importance for the passage of tobacco control legislation. If a health minister is not interested in tobacco control, or sees it as a political liability, that legislation will not progress. The central dilemma of tobacco control advocacy is therefore how to persuade health ministers of the importance of tobacco control and then to try to extend that influence to the health minister's cabinet colleagues, without whose support legislation will not pass. If the government's political majority relies on the votes of a small number of independent politicians, these too will be critical to efforts.
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