|Insight Series Vol.1
Recognizing the power of working together to fight against the transnational tobacco companies’ global expansion into ASEAN markets, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) was established in 2001 with support from the Rockefeller Foundation. This marked the beginning of energizing a young regional anti-smoking movement.Building on common goals to curb the tobacco epidemic in Southeast Asia, SEATCA progressively forged partnerships and collaborations with governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research institutions, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in most ASEAN countries. SEATCA’s approach remains collaborative and underpinned by strategic partnerships, capacity building, and evidence-based policy development.
|Insight Series Vol. 2 SEATCA Fellowship Program
Since 2003 SEATCA has identified, trained, and mentored about 60 tobacco control advocates, including a cadre of lawyers, and equipped them with basic skills to conduct advocacy activities on a specific policy-related tobacco control project in their countries. The training and mentoring also enabled the advocates to participate in and share their tobacco control activities at the regional level.SEATCA works directly with key advocates who have basic skills and show leadership potential by providing them with basic principles of advocacy, steady technical assistance, and a small seed grant to conduct activities. Advocates are either from civil society or the government.Resource persons for the fellowship programme are from Southeast Asia to tap into the expertise in the region.
|SEATCA Insight Series Vol. 3
In 2007, SEATCA recognized the importance of developing capacity of our partners to meet new needs and new challenges created by the internet, mobile platforms, and social media for tobacco control advocacy beyond traditional media strategies. SEATCA responded by bringing various partners together to share ideas, activities, and information and put in place new programs, channels, venues, and events for collective capacity building in media and communications.Six years later, SEATCA and its partners not only have regional and national-level strategies, but capacities for tobacco control advocacy – and to counter the tobacco industry– using every medium and platform. Websites, e-groups, e-bulletins, Facebook pages, Twitter strategies, and even the use of SMS and mobile platforms now complement the still important communication work carried out with traditional print and electronic media. Additionally, these same tools have given advocacy partners and team members the ability to collaborate, coordinate, and share information and best practices in a more effective manner.
|SETACA Insight Series Vol. 4
SEATCA contributes to the global implementation of WHO FCTC Article 8 “Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke” through several initiatives such as supporting cities in the development and enforcement of smoke-free policies, having organized the Smoke-free Cities ASEAN Network (SCAN) and the Network of Smoke-free World Heritage Sites and Cities, ensuring a Smoke-free Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and successfully advocating for a smoke-free ASEAN Secretariat’s workplace.In 2007, SEATCA conducted a regional workshop on “Implementing the WHO FCTC Article 8: Towards 100% smoke-free environments” and gave citations to different smoke-free initiatives such as smoke-free city for Davao City, Philippines, smoke-free world heritage city for Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, and the smoke-free army in Cambodia among others.
|SEATCA Insight Series Vol.5
Advocating for large, prominent, and strong pictorial health warnings (PHWs) on tobacco packages has been a main objective of SEATCA since 2001. In developing the case for implementing PHWs in the region, SEATCA has worked closely with international researchers and country partners to generate local evidence, conduct training workshops for officials, and engage directly with policymakers. We equip in-country partners to respond swiftly and appropriately to policy makers’ requests for technical assistance on the application of world’s best practice in pack warnings on tobacco products. This regional partnership has resulted in cumulative milestones in implementing and strengthening PHWs as demonstrated by Singapore (2004, 2006, 2013),Thailand (2005, 2007, 2010), Brunei (2008, 2012), Malaysia (2009, 2014), Vietnam (2013) and Indonesia (June 2014) and unites advocates across countries. At present, Brunei has the largest PHWs (75% of front and back) in the ASEAN region.