Countering tobacco industry interference : Report of a regional meeting, 19-21 March 2013, New Delhi, India
AbstractThere is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the interests of the tobacco industry and public health policy. On the one hand, the tobacco industry produces and promotes a product that has been scientifically proven to be highly addictive and harmful, and which exacerbates social ills, including poverty. On the other hand, governments and the public health sector try to improve the health of the population by implementing measures to reduce tobacco use. As the countries work towards developing and enforcing tobacco control measures, interference by the tobacco industry to counter these measures increases. The growing, manufacturing, distribution and selling components of the tobacco industry get involved in such interference through different means. Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its Guidelines recommend how such interference should be addressed. Nineteen delegates from different sectors of 10 countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region attended a regional meeting on countering tobacco industry interference, from 19-21 March 2013, at the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, to analyse this issue and formulate strategies to address it. The recommendations for the Member States were to: (1) review and revise as needed, the terms of reference of the national tobacco control focal points; (2) formulate and implement, within one year, a communication strategy to raise awareness among various government and nongovernment stakeholders about tobacco industry interference and measures to counter it; (3) develop and implement a sustainable and systematic national and regional monitoring mechanism to ensure that information related to the tobacco industry is current and accurate; (4) review, and where not available, formulate a code of conduct for national officials that provides guidance on how to prevent conflicts of interest, real or perceived, between the civil service, elected officials and other national officials and the tobacco industry interests; and (5) review, and where not available, formulate rules for interaction between government and the tobacco industry, based on Guidelines for Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2013). Countering tobacco industry interference : Report of a regional meeting, 19-21 March 2013, New Delhi, India. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/204915