“Parties shall act to protect public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.” –Article 5.3, General Obligations, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

This Toolkit for Preventing Tobacco Industry Interference presents a range of issues, policy options, and considerations that governments need to take into account when implementing Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The success of the business of the tobacco industry depends on the continued patronage of its products by the public. The end goal of tobacco control policies, which is to lower consumption of tobacco products, is directly opposed to the business interests of the industry. Hence, it can be expected that the tobacco industry will stop at nothing to prevent effective tobacco control policies. In 2001, the World Health Assembly (WHA) unanimously adopted Resolution 54.18 in response to evidence that the tobacco industry had been subverting the position and role of governments and WHO as well as efforts to reduce tobacco consumption. The said resolution urges members to be alert to any efforts by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies.

The WHO FCTC recognizes that tobacco industry interference poses the single greatest threat to tobacco control. It has been documented that the tobacco industry has used strategies to subvert, hinder, and prevent tobacco control efforts. Hence, one of the General Obligations of Parties to the WHO FCTC is Article 5.3. It is the key provision aimed at protecting public health policies from interference by the industry.