Network analysis of global tobacco control collaboration: data from the World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH)

Scott J. Leischow, Janet Okamoto, Scott McIntosh, Deborah J. Ossip, Harry A. Lando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) is held every three years to foster communication and collaboration on global tobacco control. Very little is known about the nature of interactions between WCTOH attendees and their linkages to tobacco control organizations, so knowing this information could help improve tobacco control efforts. Methods: At the 2015 WCTOH, we implemented an online survey to assess barriers to global tobacco control activities, which information sources they use for tobacco control information, and with whom they interact regarding tobacco control. Results: A total of 169 respondents completed the survey, with responses from all six World Health Organization (WHO) regions. Respondents worked in all areas of tobacco control; the most common were research (29.2%) and patient care/treatment (23.3%). The top barriers faced regarding tobacco control activities were: funding is weak (56.8%), government commitment (45.0%), tobacco industry interference (43.8%), and lack of coordination (34.3%). The network analysis identified Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) and Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) as the two most prominent groups that people belonged to and where they went to exchange information and best practices. Important regional and country specific groups also appear to be growing, such as the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) and the Argentinian Association of Tabacology (ASAT). Discussion: Mapping and better understanding the global tobacco control network is important for informing knowledge exchange and best practices, particularly as increasing attention is being focused on global tobacco control efforts in low- and middle-income countries in particular. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that even a subsample of the WCTOH shows considerable collaboration. The full WCTOH network should be mapped in order to foster greater collaboration that has the the potential to improve global tobacco control efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number338
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 20 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


  • Collaboration
  • FCTC
  • Global tobacco control
  • Network analysis


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