Examples of implementation of Article 5.3 communicated through the reports of the Parties
The examples given below, taken from official Party implementation reports, show the wide range of measures being introduced by Parties in implementing Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC.
Antigua and Barbuda:The tobacco industry is not involved in any decisions regarding public health policy. The new draft tobacco control legislation includes a requirement protecting public health policies from the tobacco industry.
Australia: Details of meetings held between the Department of Health and Ageing and the tobacco industry, including recent consultations in relation to Australia's plain packaging measures, are notified to the public on the Department’s web site at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/tobacco-conv-public. The Australian Government maintains a Register of Lobbyists and a Lobbying Code of Conduct to ensure that contact between lobbyists and Government representatives is conducted in accordance with public expectations of transparency, integrity and honesty. For further information, see http://lobbyists.pmc.gov.au/. Government officials are required to comply with the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct. The Code includes, inter alia, requirements to behave honestly and with integrity; to disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent); and not to make improper use of duties, status, power or authority, or any inside information, to gain or seek to gain a benefit or advantage for any person. For further information, see http://www.apsc.gov.au/conduct/index.html. The Australian Government does not currently accept donations from the tobacco industry.
Brazil: On 18 April 2012, the Minister of Health published an order establishing ethical guidelines for the members of the National Committee for WHO FCTC Implementation (CONICQ). The CONICQ is composed of representatives of 18 ministries and agencies at federal level and is responsible for implementing intersectoral policies to ensure that the country complies with the treaty. The Minister of Health is the president of the Committee. The ethical guidelines state that the activities of the committee must be transparent and accountable, and highlight the fact that public health interests are irreconcilable with the interests of tobacco industry, in accordance with Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC. The guidelines stipulate that when a relationship between a government representative and the tobacco industry is necessary, it must be in the form of an official hearing, and that the government representative must be accompanied by another public servant and prepare a record of the hearing, including the list of persons present and the subject matter. In addition, members cannot receive gifts and services from the tobacco industry, may not have research funded by the industry, and can only participate in events sponsored by the industry when that would be in the institutional interest of the agency concerned. In this last case, the costs of the participation must be afforded by the Government and not by tobacco industry.
Bulgaria: A web site maintained within the frame of the National Programme for Tobacco Control is used to reveal the tactics of tobacco industry. Ministry of Health officials avoid any form of communication with representatives of tobacco industry. There are plans to develop a normative act requiring that all State institutions and municipal structures ensure that all contacts with tobacco industry are transparent.
Burkina Faso: Chapter XI of the 2010 Tobacco Control Act refers to the protection of public health policies on tobacco control from commercial and other interests of the tobacco industry; Articles 29 and 30 of this chapter govern the relationship between public administration and the tobacco industry.
Canada: Canada has reviewed the Article 5.3 Guidelines in relation to the Canadian policy, legal and constitutional context. Canada has adopted administrative measures, such as Health Canada's policy of not partnering with the tobacco industry on tobacco control programming. Health Canada has discussed the Article 5.3 Guidelines with its federal partner departments and with relevant departments of provinical/territorial governments that are collaborators in the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS). Health Canada is considering what, if any, further measures related to the recommendation of the Article 5.3 Guidelines may be appropriate and feasible in the Canadian context. Generally, in Canada the primary channels of communication between governments and the tobacco industry are limited to (i) technical discussions as required by national law in regard to both health and tax-related regulations and (ii) litigation-related responses, as required by national law and practice. In Canada, many aspects of the tobacco industry's health policy, business and marketing activities are matters of public record. In addition, civil society organizations keep close track of tobacco industry activities and maintain web sites, publications, etc. for this and related purposes. The tobacco industry must report to government on its research and promotional activities pursuant to Tobacco Reporting Regulations of the Tobacco Act. Public access to information about the tobacco industry, which is reported to the government pursuant to these Regulations, is governed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Access to Information & Privacy Act, and the common law as it relates to confidential business information.
Djibouti: Article 6.4 of the Tobacco Control Act of 2007 requires that "in setting and implementing public health policies with respect to tobacco control, the various sectors ensure that these policies are not influenced by commercial and other interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national legislation". In addition, the 2007 Presidential Decree establishing the intersectoral tobacco control committee mandates the committee to follow and ensure non-interference of the tobacco industry with national tobacco control policy.
Fiji: Information is relayed to the Tobacco Control Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Health via the Minister or Permanent Secretary of Health when BAT submits quarterly reports on manufacture, imports and sale of tobacco products.
Finland: Interaction with the industry is limited mainly to open requests for comment. Several reports on tobacco industry activities have been published. Many nongovernmental organizations have adopted a policy of not interacting with tobacco companies, their affiliates or any other companies that work with tobacco industry, such as advertising agencies.
Ireland: Officials from the Department of Health meet with representatives of the tobacco industry only when such meetings are necessary to effectively regulate the industry and progress tobacco control policies.
Kuwait: Donations/sponsorship by the tobacco industry are not accepted in the country for any activities.
Latvia: In 2010, the tobacco industry’s participation in the State Committee on Restriction of Smoking was prohibited by the law “On restrictions regarding sale, advertising and use of tobacco products”. Therefore, no member of the tobacco industry is allowed to participate in the process of tobacco-control policy development.
Lebanon:The tobacco industry and its representatives were prevented from participating in the parliamentary committee meetings which were held to debate the tobacco control law adopted on 17 August 2011.
Mexico: Article 13 of the Tobacco Control Law mandates the companies producing, importing or trading tobacco products to release information concerning the content of their products to the Ministry of Health, including ingredients and emissions, and their health effects, in accordance with applicable regulations, and to make them available to the general population. Officials of the Ministry of Health are required to adhere to the guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3 in all communications and other relations they have with the tobacco industry. In observance of the principle of the right to information under national law, any interested person may petition the Federal Institute of Access to Information, for details of meetings between the tobacco industry and the authorities.
Montenegro: The tobacco industry is prohibited from financing any “corporate social responsibility” activity related to the protection of public health (concerning promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation).
Namibia: The Tobacco Control Act prohibits “corporate social responsibility” activities by the tobacco industry and the industry is banned from taking part of the Tobacco Control Committee.
Oman: A conflict of interest report form was introduced for members of the National Committee for Tobacco Control. The Ministry of Health alerted all concerned government units not to accept aid and donations from tobacco companies.
Nepal: There is complete media ban on any activities of the tobacco industry that are intended to promote tobacco use.
Netherlands: The Dutch Government is transparent with regard to all contacts with the tobacco industry or retail industry and provides, on request, information on the nature and frequency of these contacts, and the people who are involved. The Government only consults the industry on executive matters that have a direct influence on the industry and interacts with the industry only to the extent strictly necessary. The Government does not endorse any partnership or other non-binding agreements with tobacco industry. Tobacco control policy, in general, is not discussed with the industry.
Norway: The Parliament passed ethical standards that stipulate that the Government pension fund may no longer invest in the tobacco production industry.
Panama: In order to ensure compliance with Article 5.3, all relations of the Ministry of Health with the tobacco industry are undertaken within the National Commission for the Study of Smoking in Panama, and are recorded.
Philippines: The department of Health and the Civil Service Commission have issued a Joint Memorandum Circular, No. 2010-01, on June 26 2010 on “Protection of the bureaucracy against tobacco industry interference”. The Department of Health previously issued Department Memorandum N. 2010-0126 on “Prohibition on Partnerships with Tobacco Industry and any of its by-products”. A committee on Article 5.3 has been established to coordinate efforts to protect public health policies from tobacco industry interests. The committee is led by the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission and includes government and civil society representatives.
Serbia: Since 2005, based on a policy of the Ministry of Health, no health care institution may accept any support from the tobacco industry. The Serbian Tobacco Control Strategy (2007) stipulates that no tobacco control activity may be sponsored by the tobacco industry. Codes of conduct for members of the Council for Tobacco Control and National Committee for Tobacco Prevention specify that their members may not have any kind of relations with tobacco industry that could be perceived as creating a conflict of interests and all are obliged to sign a declaration of interests.
Seychelles: A provision of Tobacco Control Act 2009 (Section 13) states that every manufacturer, importer or exporter of tobacco products shall submit to the Board at the end of each quarter information on the amount and selling price of the tobacco products, copies of outer packaging of units for sale, information on the country from which the tobacco products were imported or exported, measures of constituents, etc.
Singapore: The Health Promotion Board has put in place guidelines governing interaction with tobacco industry. Minutes are taken of meetings and the discussions follow an agreed agenda.
Suriname: A wide range of information on tobacco industry activities is shared with the population through the mass media.
Swaziland: The Tobacco Products Bill prohibits any person/government department/official from dealing with or communicating with the tobacco industry. It also calls upon members of the tobacco control board to declare their interests in and affiliation to and with the tobacco industry.
Turkey: The Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority has published its internal regulation reflecting all guiding principles of the guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3.
Ukraine: Article 4 of the Tobacco Control Act declares “priority of the public health policy as compared to financial, tax and corporate interests of economic subjects, the activity of which is related to the tobacco industry” and calls for the “participation of individuals and citizens’ groups, whose activity is not related to the tobacco industry, in policies on prevention and reduction of consumption of tobacco products and their harmful influence on the health of the population”. This amendment to the Act was introduced in 2009.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland/England: In May 2009, the then Secretary of State for Health wrote to the Prime Minister and Cabinet colleagues bringing their attention to article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC, attaching the relevant guidelines. “Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A tobacco control plan for England” (2011) includes a chapter entitled “protecting tobacco control from vested interests”. The plan states that to ensure further transparency, the Government is committed to publishing the details of all policy-related meetings between the tobacco industry and Government departments. This excludes meetings to discuss operational matters to reduce the illicit trade in tobacco and bilateral meetings between tobacco manufacturers and HM Revenue and Customs. In the future, organizations engaging with the Department of Health on tobacco control, for example by responding to consultation exercises, will be asked to disclose any links with, or funding received from, the tobacco industry. Local authorities are encouraged to follow the Government’s lead in this area, and to take necessary action to protect their tobacco control strategies from vested interests.