Thailand has a state-owned enterprise (a.k.a. Thai Tobacco Monopoly). Its Ministry of Finance (MOF) is the agency that handles the tobacco enterprise under its excise tax department. The MOF’s interests are represented in the inter-agency National Committee on Tobacco Control—headed by the Ministry of Public Health (MPH)—whose members include representatives from education, public relations, and media. The MPH was vested with sufficient authority to ensure that those running the state-owned tobacco enterprise are not involved in tobacco control policy development.
Source: Vathesatogkit P. (2009) FCTC Article 5.3 Protect policies from commercial &
other vested interests of the tobacco industry. Presented at ASH.Thailand National Committee on Tobacco Control, Thailand.
DEALINGS WITH THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY
Aside from the state-owned tobacco company, multinational tobacco companies and various distributors play a key role in expanding Thailand’s tobacco market. In 2012, the Ministry of Public Health issued a policy to ensure that all private sectors involved with the tobacco industry (directly or indirectly receiving benefits from it) must follow strict rules of engagement. Meetings are not allowed unless “necessary”; necessary meetings are limited to those listed in the policy. The policy lists guidelines to ensure that meetings are well-documented and that photographs are not taken (similar to the “Guidelines for Meeting with the Tobacco Industry” by Assunta and Mackay, also attached to the Philippine JMC). It also includes a template “Letter of Certification” to be signed by tobacco industry representatives seeking meetings with health officials.