The complexities of tobacco control interventions necessitate collaboration among a multitude of actors. Challenged by systematic tobacco industry interference, a wide range of local, regional and international civil society partners, international health and development government agencies, local and national government ministries, and private businesses have partnered together to confront and counter the tobacco industry. The results to date have been a mix of many different types of partnerships and a growing body of evidence of what works and what does not.
For 16 years, Vital Strategies (VS) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have worked together to produce this important resource, The Tobacco Atlas, for the public health community. In hindsight, the fruits of this enduring partnership can be largely attributed to an alignment of interests, skills and needs between the two organizations. More specifically, they both:
- Are passionate about tobacco control and see the value in the resource they are producing;
- Bring different yet complementary skills and expertise to the partnership;
- Have strong subject matter expertise and similar enough views on issues that allow them to avoid major differences of opinion or find acceptable and appropriate compromises;
- Bring resources to the partnership making neither wholly dependent on the other;
- Like, trust, and appreciate each other; and
- Can make key decisions together and follow timelines effectively.