Objectives: For a comprehensive approach to policies on smoking, the map of actors related to tobacco and their political ties needs to be identified. The present article constitutes the first attempt at this task in Spain.
Methodology: Analysis of the press, industry publications, and interviews with key people. Active actors favoring smoking in Spain were identified and classified according to their characteristics, the sphere in which they act, and their preferred territorial arena.
Results: We identified tobacco companies (Altadis and Philip Morris dominate the market), tobacco trade organizations (tobacconists), front-line organizations created by the tobacco industry (The Smokers for Tolerance Club), organizations of tobacco growers, and processing companies. Distribution to retailers is dominated by Logista, owned by Altadis. Other sectors to take into account are vending companies and those manufacturing related products (cigarette paper, matches or lighters). The contacts of these actors with the public administration are reviewed, notable among which are the role of the Commissioner for the Tobacco Market, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Economy. Ties were also found with employers' organizations, some political parties, and unions, as well as with other sectors with social influence such as the media and advertising sectors.
Conclusions: The map of actors favoring smoking in Spain is complex and goes beyond the confines of the tobacco industry. Understanding this web is crucial to promoting comprehensive prevention policies.