21 Apr 2013
FCA director Laurent Huber said that as tobacco control takes hold, the industry continues to adjust its bullying tactics to hook future generations of smokers.
“After attacking public health policies in national courts and via bilateral agreements, the industry is enticing governments into doing their dirty work at the World Trade Organization,” he added.
According to FCA’s Tobacco Watch 2011 shadow report: “The tobacco industry was active in a variety of schemes to impact public health policy. Of particular concern are former tobacco industry officials serving in health ministries, or acting as official government consultants.”
Other examples include:
- Solomon Islands: the industry responded to the country’s government regulations for a new Tobacco Control law by submitting its own version and threatening legal action if it was not implemented
- Namibia: British American Tobacco (BAT) threatened a lawsuit in response to the country’s government proposal in 2011 to amend its Tobacco Products Control Act. Revised measures would include graphic warning labels covering 60 per cent of tobacco packages.
- Philippines: the industry operates at multiple levels to thwart tobacco control. This includes: launching multiple lawsuits; getting a seat on the government’s Interagency Committee – Tobacco (IATC); and inserting representatives into government delegations to meetings of the FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP).
- Australia: Tobacco giants Philip Morris International and BAT are providing legal support to Ukraine and Honduras while the countries launch complaints to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against Australia’s new law banning logos and other ‘branding’ on tobacco packages.