The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Big Tobacco's reaction to global tobacco control

A new study published in Tobacco Control examines how Philip Morris (PM) and British American Tobacco (BAT) interpreted the relationship between tobacco control non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the policy-making process that ultimately resulted in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).  

It also examines how the companies have responded to global tobacco control policy-making. Findings are based on analyses of 506 internal tobacco industry documents released from U.S. litigation and posted online at the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.

Study findings: 

  • A prominent public relations firm advised PM to seek access to treaty negotiations through pro-industry and non-tobacco control NGOs. The firm also advised PM that influencing the development of FCTC implementation protocols was more important than derailing the treaty;
  • PM and BAT used several strategies, including cultivating relationships with tobacco-friendly governments, to try to weaken the FCTC before its ratification; 
  • PM and BAT have used national and regional-level strategies, including use of free-trade agreements, to undermine the FCTC since its ratification;
  • PM and BAT use corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to counter their negative image and enhance their credibility as responsible corporate citizens.

Key Messages: 

  • There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests;  FCTC Article 5.3 requires that Parties protect public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.

  • FCTC Article 5.3 requires Parties to protect public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.

More information

 

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