06 Oct 2010
Tobacco industry interference is the focus of Corporate Accountability International’s (CAI) International Week of Resistance (IWR 2010), which began this week (October 4-8).
During IWR 2010 non-government organizations (NGOs) around the globe will run action-oriented events to build international support and solidarity for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) – with particular focus on industry interference (Article 5.3).
The CAI is calling on all NGOs and governments dealing with tobacco control to get involved with IWR 2010 because it provides an important opportunity to join together and expose the tobacco industry for its global abuses.
In a recent CAI press release, the organisation’s Challenging Big Tobacco campaign director Gigi Kellett said the tobacco industry first tried to bully the global community out of advancing the FCTC, and now it’s attempting to bully countries out of enforcing the FCTC.
“Still, our findings indicate that the industry’s resolve to defy the law is matched only by civil society’s resolve to end industry intimidation.”
To launch IWR 2010 this week, CAI released a report documenting widespread tobacco industry interference in the FCTC.
The report highlights examples of:
- Buying influence – Philip Morris International gave the Colombian government $200 million following the adoption of FCTC implementation legislation to “address areas of mutual interest.” This contribution is compromising the country’s ability to enforce new tobacco control laws.
- Exploiting revolving doors – the UK Prime Minister appointed former British American Tobacco executive Kenneth Clarke as Justice Minister. Among the cases Clarke will invariably address a recent lawsuit by BAT and its competitors against a new law cracking down on tobacco product displays.
- Launching and threatening lawsuits – the tobacco industry is engaging in or threatening lawsuits regarding tobacco product displays, packaging and health warning labels in countries like Australia, the Philippines and Norway.
All of these tactics defy the FCTC, specifically Article 5.3, which deems industry interference to be in fundamental conflict with the treaty’s public health aims.