Mateusz Zatonski: New PhD Student

Tackling tobacco harm in Poland under Communist rule and in the post-Communist period

My PhD research investigates the history of tobacco control in Central and Eastern Europe during the late Communist and early post-Communist period. The case study is Poland, a country which in the 1980s had one of the highest levels of tobacco consumption in the world. After the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989, as transnational tobacco companies entered the Polish market, industry experts predicted a further increase in cigarette sales. Instead, the collapse of Communism was followed by a rapid decline in smoking and the passage of comprehensive tobacco control laws. This research will attempt to help understand the process that underpinned this shift. In order to do this I will analyse the role of government, the medical establishment, religious organisations, and NGOs in tackling tobacco harm in Poland between 1980 and 1999.