ASEAN: Far to go to prevent tobacco industry interference – report

A report released on 1 Feb 2014 on tobacco industry interference in South-East Asia comes to a sobering conclusion: “Countries still have a long way to go in implementing FCTC Article 5.3 Guidelines.”

The guidelines are 8 recommendations (and 34 sub-recommendations) on how Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control should implement Art. 5.3, to prevent industry interference in policy making.

“There are still unnecessary interactions between the industry and governments, and [lack of] transparency in dealings with the tobacco industry is a recurring problem,” concludes the report, Tobacco Industry Interference Index.

The document was prepared by FCA member the South-East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) and tobacco control groups in the countries assessed: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The report recommends that the following be done immediately:

  • Disclose all interactions with the tobacco industry;
  • Implement a Code of Conduct based on Article 5.3 Guidelines;
  • Ban so-called CSR activities by the tobacco industry;
  • Require the tobacco industry to disclose periodically information on tobacco production, manufacture, market share, revenues, expenditure on marketing, lobbying, philanthropy and political contributions.

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