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.

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.

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