WHO's mandate on monitoring the tobacco industry
Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control have identified the tobacco industry as the primary driving agent of the tobacco epidemic. The preamble of the WHO FCTC emphasizes the need for Parties to be alert to any efforts by the tobacco industry to undermine or subvert tobacco control efforts and the need to be informed of activities of the tobacco industry that have a negative impact on tobacco control efforts. In addition to the preamble, Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC states that "in setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law." Furthermore, the third session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in November 2008, adopted guidelines which expand upon Article 5.3 emphasizing the fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy. The guidelines recommend that Parties "establish measures to limit interactions with the tobacco industry" and "reject partnerships and non-binding or non-enforceable agreements with the tobacco industry."