Article 5.3 provides that: “In setting public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry.” The tobacco control treaty's general obligation to protect public health includes measures recommended in the Guidelines such as renouncing or rejecting contributions or partnerships of, denormalizing the so-called CSR of, limit interaction/ avoid conflicts of interest with, disapproving business privileges of , and requiring transparency from the tobacco industry and those who work to further its interests. It is essential to identify the individuals and entities who comprise the tobacco industry in order to impose such measures. Each country would require a basic tobacco industry profile as well as constant monitoring to spot third parties that promote tobacco industry interests.
Who is the Tobacco Industry?
The WHO FCTC defines “tobacco industry” to mean "tobacco manufacturers, wholesale distributors and importers of tobacco products." Below are key materials on the top transnational tobacco manufacturers. Distributors and importers vary from country to country.
Some of the major transnational tobacco companies are listed and described in the Tobaccotactics site of the University of Bath.
Tobacco producers are being mapped out at The Citadel Project of Stanford University in USA.
Who are those representing the tobacco industry's interests?
From a practical standpoint, the latter is deemed to "include but is not limited to: entities and subsidiaries engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and/or sale of tobacco or tobacco-related products; entities working to specifically further the interests of the tobacco industry through lobbying, advertising, legal advice or similar activities; entities being funded, supported or influenced in their governance by tobacco-related entities; and entities having tobacco industry or their representatives among their members." *
Some examples of THIRD PARTIES THAT ARE FURTHERING TOBACCO INDUSTRY INTERESTS can be found below:
A partial list of entities and individuals that have furthered tobacco industry interests are provided in the links below:
Tobacco Industry Executives or Representatives
Lobbyists and PR People
What are the tobacco industry tactics?
Evidence including internal tobacco industry documents have shown how the tobacco industry has used flawed arguments, fabricated or misleading information, unethical approaches, and front groups to undermine life saving tobacco control measures by influencing policy makers either directly or through third parties.
For years, public health experts poured over tobacco industry's internal documents to decipher the pattern of strategies deployed to weaken tobacco control. Tobacco industry's internal documents were made public as an outcome of public interestlitigation against tobacco companies in the US. WHO sums up these strategies in this table:
|Intelligence gathering||To monitor opponents and social trends in order to anticipate future challenges|
|Public relations||To mould public opinion, using the media to promote positions favourable to the industry|
|Political funding||To use campaign contributions to win votes and legislative favours from politicians|
|Lobbying||To make deals and influence political processes|
|Consultancy||To recruit supposedly independent experts who are critical of tobacco control measures|
|Funding research, including universities||To create doubt about evidence of the health effects of tobacco use|
|Smokers’ rights groups||To create an impression of spontaneous, grassroots public support|
|Creating alliances and front groups||To mobilize farmers, retailers, advertising agencies, the hospitality industry, grassroots and anti-tax groups with a view to influencing legislation|
|Intimidation||To use legal and economic power as a means of harassing and frightening opponents who support tobacco control|
|Philanthropy||To buy friends and social respectability from arts, sports, humanitarian and cultural groups|
|Corporate social responsibility||To promote voluntary measures as an effective way to address tobacco control and create an illusion of being a ‘changed’ company and to establish partnerships with health interests|
|Youth smoking prevention and retailer education programmes||To appear to be on the side of efforts to prevent children from smoking and to depict smoking as an adult choice|
|Litigation||To challenge laws and intimidate tobacco industry opponents|
|Smuggling||To undermine tobacco excise tax policies and marketing and trade restrictions and thereby increase profits|
|International treaties and other international instruments||To use trade agreements to force entry into closed markets and to challenge the legality of proposed tobacco control legislation|
|Joint manufacturing and licensing agreements and voluntary policy agreements with governments||To form joint ventures with state monopolies and subsequently pressure governments to privatize monopolies|
|Pre-emption||To overrule local or state government by removing its power to act|
Below are more resources on these tactics:
- Tactics documented by civil society organizations in ASEAN Region
- CSR Tactics
- Influencing Science
- Using Third Parties
- Revolving Door Strategies
DISCLAIMER: Links to other websites are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those websites or any associated information, product or service. Your use of any link to such a website is entirely at your own risk. This site is not responsible for the quality, validity or accuracy of information published on other websites that this page links to. These linked websites are not under our control and we are not responsible for the contents of any linked website or any hyperlink contained in a link to another website.