Resources: Policy Interference
Reports & Studies
The tobacco industry has a history of using front groups like the ITGA to undermine the creation and prevent the passage of strong tobacco control laws. For the past thirty years, the ITGA has represented the interests of international tobacco companies, not the livelihoods and well-being of tobacco farmers. Currently the ITGA is increasing lobbying efforts to block passage and implementation of strong tobacco control policies in country as well as the development of FCTC Guidelines.
The International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), founded in 1993, claims to be an independent, nonprofit research and education foundation working to bring together governments and investors on tax and investment policy worldwide. This document uncovers the truth about the ITIC which is funded by major multinational corporations including all of the leading transnational tobacco companies.
In this report, the World Health Organization exposes and describes the spectrum of tobacco industry practices that interfere with tobacco control. WHO also provides background and contextual information that may assist in implementing the Article 5.3 guidelines against tobacco industry interference with tobacco control.
Tobacco industry documents show exactly how corporations can and do co-opt legislative processes from start to finish, and how successful they are at it. Big Tobacco’s success at staving off regulation shows its ability to control legislative processes. The tobacco industry’s pioneering work in this area has drawn a road map for other industries showing how to manipulate state and federal legislatures as well.
India: Advocates Protest Government Participation in India Tobacco Company Corporate Social Responsi
In India, the country’s largest cigarette manufacture, India Tobacco Company (ITC), sponsors “National Recycling Day” in multiple cities where the company operates. During the July 2012 celebration in the city of Chennai, ITC invited 10,000 school children, government officials, and local celebrities to participate. Advocates launched a campaign throughout Chennai, condemning the event as a violation of the FCTC and calling for government officials to not participate.
In 2009, the tobacco industry successfully blocked a significant tobacco tax increase by lobbying the largest and most influential party in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies at the time, the Partido Revolutionario Institucional (PRI). Following this public health defeat, tobacco control advocates launched a well-coordinated campaign to promote a tax increase in 2010.
Tobacco industry actions prevented the Philippines from fulfilling its FCTC obligations for strong tobacco control. Working with the Department of Health a group of advocates formed a committee to raise awareness of tobacco control and Article 5.3 including warning against the dangers of partnering with the tobacco industry, the need for strong tobacco control policies in government, and the need to promote integrity and transparency in light of tobacco industry influence.
India: Advocates Call for Government Enforcement of Advertising Ban to Shut Down Four Square Concert
Godfrey Philips India violated Indian law by sponsoring a concert series and singing competition using its number one selling brand Four Square. Following extensive media coverage surrounding advocacy efforts to expose the advertising, promotion and sponsorship violation, the state government of Tamil Nadu announced that the concerts were illegal and banned.
At the end of 2009, tobacco industry interference was suspected when an important clause about tobacco in the Indonesian Health Bill was removed before it was signed into law. Due to the criminal nature of the deletion, tobacco control advocates called for investigations by the government and police into the government entities involved.
British American Tobacco’s subsidiary Souza Cruz, Brazil’s largest producer of cigarettes systematically increased their sponsorships of legal conferences in 2008 and 2009. Advocates were able to enlist the support of a public prosecutors association which has agreed to no longer accept money from Souza Cruz.
In China, local tobacco companies under the umbrella of state-owned China National Tobacco Company (CNTC) heavily promote their deadly products through sponsorships and donations. Between November 2008 and October 2009, tobacco control advocates in China were active in several campaigns urging the government and other partners to comply with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s (FCTC) Articles 5.3 and 13.
Despite the August 2008 ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship in Mexico (General Law on Tobacco Control, article 23), PMI continued its sponsorship of the annual Marlboro MXBeat festival in Guadalajara, Puebla, Monterrey and Mexico City featuring bands from Australia, Brazil, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Local and international advocacy groups urged artists to call for an end to the tobacco sponsorship. Advocates in Mexico also called on the Mexican government to enforce the newly passed national law.
This presentation from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids outlines how to counter tobacco industry interference in policy campaigns.
Prepared by Corporate Accountability International
Based on the Guidelines for the Implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC Article 5.3). Published by the South East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) (2010).
A guide by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Australia designed to help advocates and policy makers identify, monitor and prevent tobacco industry interference in public health policies (2010).