Expose Big Tobacco’s influence on health policies in your country

SMU-ATIM invites you to participate in an open call to expose the tobacco industry tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

Tobacco industry interference is one of the major barriers of tobacco control in the African continent. The tobacco Industry is known to adopt several tactics to deter the adaptation and implementation of effective tobacco control polices. Tobacco industries and/or their front groups have been manipulating and employing various tactics to derail tobacco control efforts and ‘normalize’ the industry through the so called corporate social investments (CSI) made since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Take part in exposing the tobacco industry and showcase what you have done to counteract the TI in your country (provide links to articles, minutes of meetings, links of media briefings, etc.).

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU)’s Africa Center for Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Policy Research (ATIM) in collaboration with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), calls on tobacco control stakeholders to research and write up what the tobacco industry is doing to interfere with tobacco control efforts in your country since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, as well as their responses to counter Big Tobacco. The submissions will be as resource material to be shared with all target African countries supported through this collaboration to strengthen the fight against the industry and to safeguard country health policies.


  • Are you a tobacco control advocate, a journalist or a young person above 18 years passionate about tobacco control and working for a civil society organization (CSO) or research institution actively involved in monitoring and countering the Tobacco Industry?
  • Do you reside in the following countries: Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, The Gambia, Gabon, Mauritania, Senegal, Benin, Nigeria, and South Africa?
  • Can you produce a succinct written report backed by evidence of tobacco industry interference or activities in your country during the coronavirus pandemic?

SMU-ATIM is looking for the best report accompanied by a factsheet and/or poster covering one or more of the following tactics during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. Interference with the government policy process
  2. Economic manipulation, including role of illicit trade
  3. Manipulation of public perception, e.g. control of the media narratives, use of ‘credible messengers’, etc.
  4. Creating alliances and front groups, e.g. pushing pro tobacco policies, using independent front groups, etc.
  5. Undermine scientific research
  6. Threatening litigation


Prizes will be awarded for the top four submissions in each country as follows:

1st prize – $1000

2nd prize – $800

3rd prize – $700   

4th prize – $500


  • Maximum of 3 pages of 11 font-size, single-spacing written report and one-page of factsheet/poster
  • Language: English/French
  • We accept submissions from Individuals or organizations.


  • Email your submissions to eudie.hlabioa@smu.ac.za on/before 18 September 2020 16:00 pm CAT.
  • Awards will be announced by 05 October 2020


  • Each entry must only be three (3) pages of original work and must not infringe on the intellectual property or other rights of any other third party, regardless of country of residence.
  • By submitting an entry, each participant agrees to grant SMU’s ATIM without obligation, the right to use the factsheets or poster for any purpose so determined.
  • Participants should make a declaration that they are not affiliated in anyway with the tobacco industry, its front groups or allies.
  • SMU-ATIM reserves the right to disqualify entries that do not comply with the competition rules and eligibility criteria.
  • SMU-ATIM is not obligated to award all categories if the evaluators deem the submissions to be below the required standard.

The evaluator’s s’ decisions are final.


The Evaluators/ reviewers will assess all submissions in line with the evaluation criteria given in Table 1 below

Evaluation Criteria Evaluation Aspects Maximum Score
Quality of written content on TII   Facts/ Validity of the information presented (accompanied by verifiable evidence) of TII in the country

Information is clear and concise
TII responses in the country Evidence of participation in countering the TI 30%
Design of factsheet/poster   Creativity and structure of design
Visually appealing

Notification of winners

Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail to their designated point of contact.

Panel of Evaluators

The Evaluation panel is responsible for evaluating applications for alignment with the evaluation criteria. The Evaluation panel is comprised of highly qualified tobacco control experts in Africa and internationally. ATIM- BETA project retains the sole and absolute discretion to declare the winners in this call. Any such decision may not be challenged by any entrant.