Australia: new guidance on interactions between public officials and the tobacco industry

The Department of Health’s “Guidance for Public Officials on Interacting with the Tobacco Industry” was released in November 2019, outlining the legal obligations placed on public health organizations and officials in their interactions with the tobacco industry. The guide covers areas such as interactions with the tobacco industry, management of conflicts of interest, rejection of partnerships with and preferential treatment of the tobacco industry, and the de-normalization of the tobacco industry’s ‘socially responsible’ activities.

The guide constitutes an important effort of the Australian Government to comply with the provisions of Article 5.3 obligations, the Guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3 of the Convention, as well as other decisions of the Conference of the Parties. The Government now extends such obligations to protecting tobacco control policies from commercial and other vested interests of industries producing novel and emerging tobacco and nicotine products, such as ENDS/ENNDS and heated tobacco products.

As the Parties to the WHO FCTC have agreed, there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests. This measure provides an effective tool to Australian policy makers to protect tobacco control regulation against the attempts of the tobacco industry to undermine public health gains.

For more details please consult the Guidance through this link.


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