Report reveals how tobacco firms pull policy strings

Thursday, November 16th, 2023 04:21 | By
Tobacco filters. PHOTO/Print

Kenya is among 43 countries where tobacco manufacturers are interfering in tobacco control policies, a report indicates.

Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023, which ranks 90 countries, reveals tobacco industry tactics used to interfere with tobacco control legislations, including promoting electronic tobacco products and hiding environmental damage.

The report by the global tobacco industry watchdog, Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP) and the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC), expresses concern that governments continue to be influenced by powerful tobacco companies that hinder efforts to reduce tobacco use.

“Governments are not taking sufficient measures to protect policy from the tobacco industry as required under Article 5.3 of a global treaty, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Convention on Tobacco Control- FCTC,” the report says.

Released yesterday, the report backed by civil society organisations, indicates that efforts to protect policy from tobacco industry interference have deteriorated in 43 countries.

Analysis from civil society organisations shows a deterioration in the scores for more than half (43) of the 80 countries analyzed in the 2021 report, while 29 improved their score.

“No country was immune to the industry’s intensified efforts to sway policy and policy makers to its advantage, with tactics including aggressive lobbying to create acceptance for electronic products and significant efforts to hide environmental damage caused by both cigarettes and electronic products,” the report  says.

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