ARTICLE 5.3 IN ACTION: Recommendation 1


Raise awareness about the harmful nature of tobacco products and about the harmful nature of tobacco products and about tobacco industry interference in tobacco control.

In practical terms, Recommendation 1 implies that governments must:

  1. Monitor and document examples of tobacco industry interference.
  2. Develop materials about tobacco industry interference and the government’s obligations under Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC (e.g., FAQs, news articles, posters).
  3. Build alliances among civil society groups, NGOs, and government agencies, and identify champions in key agencies that need to be involved. Consultative meetings and workshops are useful in explaining this recommendation to other government bodies/agencies and civil society groups.
  4. Develop and implement a media plan to disseminate information about the harms of tobacco and tobacco industry interference. This should include publicizing actions taken to prevent tobacco industry interference, such as letters sent to warn government agencies about tobacco industry interference.
  5. Establish programs to systematically conduct surveillance, monitor, document, act upon, and disseminate instances of tobacco industry interference.
  6. Develop policies or provide technical assistance to develop policies that institutionalize surveillance and monitoring activities, awareness-raising programs, and reporting mechanisms.

The guidelines refer to “tobacco industry interference” not only as interference by the tobacco industry itself but also, as appropriate, by organizations and individuals that work to further its interests. This broad definition is based on the vast body of evidence that shows how tobacco companies have used and continue to use various types of persons and entities to further their commercial and vested interests at the expense of public health.

Transnational tobacco companies’ internal documents have pointed to the fact that they utilize the following types of intermediaries to thwart public health interests:

  • lawyers
  • public relation firms
  • advertising agencies
  • front groups, including retailers and tourism associations

In many cases, however, the list is longer. Hence, in codifying policies to protect public health interests from the tobacco industry, it is recommended that governments adopt a broad definition to cover all possible tobacco industry representations.

The following pages illustrate some methods of raising awareness about Article 5.3 and the tactics of the tobacco industry through:


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