Africa: WHO and Tobacco Control Partners Urge Countries Not to Partner or Work With the Tobacco Industry
WHO is concerned with continued attempts by the tobacco industry and their surrogates to further its interests to influence scientific research, public perception, policy making, and the media; all aimed to ensure proliferation and sale of nicotine and tobacco products.
The tobacco industry continues to amplify misinformation in the media, including the recent egregious attacks on tobacco control organizations. The tobacco industry is the only one that stands to benefit by undermining tobacco control organizations.
There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests. WHO urges all Member States to ensure that they are not partnering with or accepting funds from the industry or its front groups.
The international community must not forget that the tobacco industry knowingly denied its products were linked with cancer and falsely claimed there was no harm from secondhand smoke.
This misleading conduct continues today with tobacco, e-cigarette, and other nicotine companies concealing the addictive nature of their products, while directly targeting children and young adults with advertisements for their harmful products. The tobacco industry has no place in tobacco control or harm reduction policy.
The tobacco industry should not be a partner in any initiative linked to setting or implementing public health policies, knowing that its interests are in direct conflict with the goals of public health.
Decades of duplicitous behavior serve as proof that tobacco companies put profit before public health.
The tobacco industry uses a broad array of tactics to interfere with the setting and implementing of tobacco control measures. One strategy is undermining the credibility of WHO and partners so that the public calls into question scientific evidence that proves the harm of tobacco and nicotine products.
Inversely, WHO and WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) use evidence-based approaches that have helped save millions of lives.
The international community must protect the implementation of the WHO FCTC, a legally binding instrument that is celebrating 20 years since it’s adoption at the World Health Assembly.
The WHO FCTC helps keep the tobacco industry from interfering in public health policies. Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC contains a legal obligation for Parties to protect public health policies from the tobacco industry. The Guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC, assist Parties on limiting interactions with the tobacco industry and rejecting partnerships with the industry.
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WHO and its tobacco control partners continue to uphold the adoption of evidence-based policies to curb tobacco use like MPOWER tobacco control measures that support the full implementation of WHO FCTC. WHO’s work with global tobacco control partners has strengthened public health and has now protected over 5 billion people with tobacco control measures.
These great strides in tobacco control are constantly being threatened by the tobacco industry’s multibillion dollar campaign.
WHO and its global tobacco control partners do not work with or accept funds from the tobacco industry or by organizations and individuals that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry.
WHO’s no tobacco unit with NGOs, foundations, academic centres and governments at all levels in our tobacco control work. https://www.knowledge-action-portal.com/en/about/gcm-participants