On September 13, 2017, tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) announced support for the establishment of a new institution, the Smokefree World Foundation. Philip Morris International has indicated that it plans to donate approximately $80 million a year for the next 12 years.
The UN General Assembly recognizes that there is a fundamental conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and public health. WHO Member States have stated that WHO does not engage with the tobacco industry or non-state actors committed to promoting the interests of the tobacco industry, so WHO will not interact with this newly established foundation.
Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires Parties to take action in accordance with national laws to protect public health policies from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. The implementation guidelines of Article 5.3 clearly state that the government should restrict interaction with the tobacco industry and avoid cooperation. The implementation guidelines clearly state that the government should not accept the tobacco industry or entities that are committed to promoting the interests of the tobacco industry, such as funding or other contributions from the foundation.
Strengthening the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control for all tobacco products remains the most effective method of tobacco control. For example, tobacco taxes, graphic warnings, a total ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and the provision of smoking cessation assistance have been shown to reduce the demand for tobacco products. These policies not only help existing smokers to quit, but also prevent smoking.
If Philip Morris International is truly committed to building a smoke-free world, the company should support the above-mentioned tobacco control policy. But Philip Morris International opposed it. Philip Morris International has conducted large-scale lobbying and long-term high-cost litigation against evidence-based tobacco control policies, such as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the WHO MPOWER Tobacco Control Measures. For example, only last year, Philip Morris International lost a six-year investment treaty arbitration with Uruguay, which spent about $24 million to oppose the expansion of graphical warnings and misleading in a country of less than four million people. Sexual packaging.
There are still many unsolved mysteries about reducing tobacco damage, but the research needed to uncover the mystery should not be funded by tobacco companies. The tobacco industry and its cover-up organizations mislead the public about the risks associated with other tobacco products. Including the use of so-called light and soft tobacco products to replace smoking cessation, in fact, they are very clear that the health risks of these products have not decreased. Today, companies including Philip Morris International are still misleading the public to mislead marketing by suggesting that these tobacco products are less harmful to health.
The decades of history indicate that research and advocacy funded by tobacco companies and their cover organizations is not acceptable. So with regard to the Smokefree World Foundation, the so-called health foundation funded by tobacco companies has many obvious conflicts of interest, especially cigarettes and other products that may promote the company's brand portfolio. WHO will not work with the foundation. The government should not cooperate with the foundation, and public health groups should follow this principle.
Source: World Health Organization WeChat public number