ENSP-ECTC Webinar “Tobacco Industry Tactics”

The tobacco industry, which is responsible for more than 8 million deaths annually worldwide, has never taken responsibility for all the diseases and deaths its products have caused and continue to cause to its customers, governments and society. Yet, it is exploiting the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic to provide resources to countries badly in need of them, framing itself as being “part of the solution”—a classic tactic of the tobacco industry to get close to governments and enable it to interfere with, derail and undermine health policies aimed at reducing tobacco use.

Even though more countries adopt comprehensive tobacco control, the tobacco industry is working to undermine government efforts in order to hook new users and push new products. They have even gone so far as to try and take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic when countries are desperate for resources.

Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC Guidelines recommends governments to ensure transparency by requiring periodic disclosures from the tobacco industry about its activities and practices.

Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC Guidelines provides a range of preventive actions governments can take to protect their tobacco control policies from being sabotaged by commercial and vested interests.

The tobacco industry will not stop interfering. Civil society can expose and counter industry interference, but it is in the hands of governments to halt it altogether.

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