TEMPLATE: Requiring Information from the Tobacco Industry

Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) obligates the state to protect its public health policies against the commercial and other vested interest of the tobacco industry. The guidelines for the implementation of Article 5.3 recommend that Parties develop policies requiring transparent and accurate information about the activities and practices of the tobacco industry to facilitate its regulation. The WHO FCTC further encourages that Parties implement measures beyond those recommended by the treaty and its guidelines. In view of these objectives, the following rules are hereby promulgated:

The term “tobacco industry” shall refer to organizations, entities, associations, and individuals that work for or on behalf of the tobacco industry, such as, but not limited to, tobacco manufacturers, wholesale distributors, importers of tobacco products, tobacco retailers, lawyers, scientists, lobbyists, front groups, and any other individual, or organization that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry.

1. The agency shall require transparent and accurate information from the tobacco industry.1 It shall require the tobacco manufacturers, importers, and its affiliates (option: including front groups) to submit periodically and regularly (state specific periods here) and as requested by this agency, the following information:

  • Reports for disclosure or registration of the tobacco industry entities, affiliated organizations, and individuals acting on their behalf, including lobbyists.2
  • Information on tobacco production, manufacture, market share, marketing expenditures, revenues and any other activity, such as lobbying, philanthropy, political contributions.3
  • Information about tobacco advertising, promotions, and sponsorship, such as, but not limited to:4

(i) The kind of advertising, promotion, or sponsorship, including its content, form, and type of media

(ii)The placement and extent or frequency of the advertising, promotion, or sponsorship

(iii)The identity of all entities involved in the advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, including advertising and production companies

(iv)In case of cross-border advertising, promotion, or sponsorship originating from a Party’s territory, the territory or territories in which it is intended to be or may be, received

(v) The amount of financial or other resources used for advertising, promotion, or sponsorship

  • Any information required to support the tobacco control measures.

2. The information shall be provided in accordance with forms provided (by the agency or attached in the annex) which may be updated and revised as needed. The agency shall make sure that the information submitted by the tobacco industry will be accessible to the public for scrutiny, copying, or reproduction.

(OPTIONAL: except for [list information items] which may not be publicly disclosed without a written request and for public interest and other justifiable causes.)

3. The x agency shall incorporate information collected from the tobacco industry into the information, education, and communication campaigns in order to raise awareness of the harms of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke as well as the tactics and strategies of tobacco companies.

4. All reports from the tobacco industry required to be submitted to the agency must be with the undertaking that such documents contain true and accurate information.

5. Any person who submits documents with false information will be subject to prosecution for perjury or other applicable penalties (cite existing law, if any). In case of associations, partnerships, or corporations, the penalty shall be imposed on the partner, president, general manager, branch manager, treasurer, officer in charge and employee/s responsible for the violation.

II. Enforcement Mechanism

1. The agency shall notify the tobacco industry of the pertinent documents needed to be submitted and the corresponding deadlines for submission. In the absence of a deadline, the reports shall be submitted at the end of each year.
2. There shall be no exemption from the submission of reports. If nothing is to be reported, the tobacco industry must file a statement alleging the same.
3. The agency shall impose appropriate sanctions for the failure of the tobacco industry to submit its reports. Significant fines shall be imposed for each day that the tobacco industry fails to submit the report. (if allowed by law, list specific fines or sanctions under the title “Penalty”)
4. Documents submitted to the agency shall be received and processed by the X Department. It shall be responsible for verifying the accuracy of the contents of the documents.
5. X Department shall make sure that the documents shall be available for public knowledge, scrutiny, copying, or reproduction.

III. Monitoring

On a quarterly basis, the X Department shall submit copies of the documentation to the agency and the list of documents submitted/not submitted by the tobacco industry.

To promote public disclosure and transparency, X Department is mandated to record or document all requests made before its office. The logbook shall contain the information about the requesting party,  the document requested, and the corresponding action made.

IV. Integration into the Program

The agency shall integrate the policy into its programs related to the promotion of public disclosure of transactions involving public interest and transparency in the government. (Specify all known programs here.)

V. Sustained Awareness-Raising Program

a. The agency shall inform and educate all government personnel about the industry practice of using individuals, front groups, and affiliated organizations to act, openly or covertly, on their behalf or to take action to further the interest of the tobacco industry.

b. It shall encourage government personnel to monitor, report, and exchange knowledge among pertinent agencies and civil society representatives with respect to tobacco industry practices.

VI. Funding

All costs incident to the implementation of this policy shall be sourced from the budget of X Department (or subject of annual budget allocation)

VII. Effectivity

(Note: It is suggested that the policy be made effective after it complies with the publication requirement to inform affected persons about the new rules of the agency, subject to national laws.)

1 Guidelines for Implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC, Recommendation 5.1.
2 Ibid., Recommendation 5.3.
3 Ibid., Recommendation 6.2.
4 Ibid., Par. 41.

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