Ute Mons, German Center for Cancer Research
Tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS) are used by tobacco companies to create positive product and company imagery and associations, with the aim to increase sales. A wide spectrum of legally available marketing measures are being utilized; including direct marketing, such as advertising in mass media, on the internet, or at the point of sale; and indirect marketing, such as promotional activities and sponsorship. Although the tobacco industry claims to target only adult smokers, it is well-established that tobacco marketing promotes tobacco use among adolescents. Tobacco advertising encourages smokers to increase consumption and discourages smoking cessation. Comprehensive bans on TAPS are known to be effective measures to reduce smoking prevalence, and thus, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) calls for comprehensive bans on all types of direct and indirect tobacco marketing (WHO FCTC, Article 13). However, more than ten years after the FCTC came into force, and despite efforts to harmonize advertising regulations across member states of the European Union (EU), there is still some heterogeneity regarding TAPS legislation in Europe. Germany for example has not yet fulfilled its commitment to implement comprehensive TAPS bans. Drawing on models of evidence-based policymaking, potential reasons for why this evidence is not translated sufficiently will be discussed and exemplified. The presentation will discuss these potential reasons and ways to overcome them. A main focus will be on contrasting arguments used by opponents of TAPS restrictions and the scientific evidence.
Ute Mons heads the Cancer Prevention Unit and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) based in Heidelberg, Germany. She holds an M.A. in Sociology and Economics, and a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from the University of Heidelberg. She has co-authored more than 100 research publications, mostly in her main research areas tobacco control, cancer prevention, and chronic disease epidemiology. Ute Mons participates in several committees in Germany to promote public health and tobacco control. In 2017, she was awarded one of the ECL ECTOH Young Professional Awards recognizing her contribution to tobacco control.