Supporting WHO's FCTC Article 5.3 guidelines against Big Tobacco interference
The tobacco industry has repeatedly been caught seeking to interfere with the development of progressive health policies aimed at reducing use of the addictive tobacco and related products that they manufacture. This can involve attempts to block, weaken or delay proposed regulation, or to undermine existing regulation.
180 governments, including the UK Government, agreed by signing the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 5.3 that there is a “fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy”.
Unfortunately, the latest Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index revealed that the UK has dropped from first place in 2019 to third in 2021 to now just 21st position in 2023, reflecting the reality that the tobacco industry, through its vested and commercial interests, has been constantly seeking to influence the development of public health policy.
ASH Scotland believes that the UK’s plummeting performance requires immediate and robust remedial action to protect from commercial interference that skews public consultation processes, disrupts democratic debate and impedes progressive policymaking.
ASH Scotland has provided comments for several media investigations in recent years exposing tobacco companies' attempts to influence elected representatives.
- 'Big Tobacco playing down vaping risks to kids' revelations met with fury by Scots campaigners (Daily Record, 16 December 2023)
- Revealed: how tobacco giants are bank-rolling secret pro-vaping campaign (The Times, 14 December 2023)
- Holyrood must take a stronger stance against tobacco firms' interference (Holyrood, 4 April 2023)
- Revealed: Tobacco firms lobbied politicians at Holyrood 34 times (The Ferret, 17 February 2023)
- London PR firm behind 'grassroots' pro-vape campaign called 'Tell Nicola' (The Ferret, 3 June 2022)
- Tobacco firms lobbied politicians in Scotland 'in breach of WHO treaty' (The Sunday Times, 28 May 2022)
To keep updated about Big Tobacco's lobbying and marketing activities and to check which organisations have links to the tobacco industry, visit the Tobacco Tactics website published and maintained by the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group.
We have a number of e-learning courses and downloadable resources on our dedicated e-learning website.
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