ASEAN IS MOVING AT A SNAIL’S PACE IN PREVENTING TOBACCO INDUSTRY INTERFERENCE

Tobacco industry interference remains to be an impediment in fully implementing effective tobacco control measures under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in the ASEAN Region.
This is the main finding of the report Tobacco Industry Interference Index: ASEAN Report on Implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 5.3 launched today by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) in Manila, Philippines.
The index, the fourth in the series, is a civil society report that tracks government action in protecting their health policies from interference from the tobacco industry. “Article 5.3 is the backbone of the Convention as it guides countries to protect their tobacco control policies from vested interests of the tobacco industry. The FCTC cannot be implemented effectively if industry interference is not rooted out. However Article 5.3 is the least effectively implemented Article. The solution lies in the hands of the governments,” said Dr. Mary Assunta, SEATCA’s Senior Policy Advisor and the author of the report.
“Big tobacco does not take a holiday when it comes to undermining health policy. A whole-of-government approach is vital for FCTC Article 5.3 implementation. Transparency in dealing with the industry is a major area that needs improvement. Governments need to record and document all meetings with the tobacco industry and their outcomes,” she added.