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Manoeuvering to hijack the political and legislative process





The tobacco industry has been highly resourceful in undermining government efforts to protect public health. Companies have become experts in creating and exploiting loopholes in the law and in liaising with lobbyists to influence the drafting of laws with their particular views.

In a presentation to the Philip Morris Board in 1995, the company's then Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs stated:

"Our goal is to help form regulatory environments that enable our company to achieve its goals (...) aggressively fighting with all available resources against any attempt by any party to diminish our ability to manufacture efficient products and market them effectively "(...)1.

The range of strategies used by the tobacco industry to influence political and legislative processes includes promoting partnerships with lobbyists to achieve self-interested decisions over and above those that serve the common good. Existing evidence suggests, for example, that in several countries the tobacco industry has tried to underestimate the country's position in the negotiation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO) and continues to try to impede the implementation of the treaty2 3 4 5 6.

Tactics used by the tobacco industry include:

  1. incite controversy between the ministries of finance, commerce, and other bodies, as opposed to the Ministry of Health;
  2. use trade associations and other front groups to lobby on your behalf; and
  3. to guarantee its access to the negotiations of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO), through its contacts established with International Organizations  such as ISO, which standardizes and normalizes products and services 7.

There are many examples of tactics used by the tobacco industry to promote their interests and weaken countries' legislation, such as:

  1. create and exploit legislative 'gaps';
  2. demand a place on government decision-making bodies;
  3. promote voluntary regulations rather than legislation; and
  4. draft and distribute "samples" of industry-friendly laws, which even write tobacco control jargon and other legislation to ensure that any regulatory measures are not too restrictive of the industry's business practices.
  • 1. PHILIP MORRIS. Corporate worldwide regulatory affairs issues review prospects and plans. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, United States, Apr 29. 1995. Available at http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/jww95a00. Accessed on Nov. 14 2014
  • 2. GRUNING, Thilo et all. Tobacco industry attempts to influence and use the German government to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Tobacco Control, United States, n. 21, p. 30-38, 2012. Available at http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2011/06/15/tc.2010.042093.fu.... Accessed on Nov. 17 2014.
  • 3. MAMUDU, Hadii; HAMMOND, Ross; GLANTZ, Stanton. International trade versus public health during the FCTC negotiations, 1999-2003. Tobacco Control, United States, 2011. Available at: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/20/1/e3.full. Accessed on Nov. 17 2014
  • 4. OTAÑEZ, Martin; MAMUDU, Hadii; GLANTZ, Stanton. Tobacco companies use of developing countries economic reliance on tobacco to lobby against global tobacco control: the case of Malawi. American Journal of Public Health, United States, v. 10, no. 99, p. 1759-1771, 2009. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741530/. Accessed on Nov. 17 2014.
  • 5. ASSUNTA, Mary; CHAPMAN, Simon. Health treaty dilution: a case study of Japan's influence on the language of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, United States, vol. 9, n. 60, p. 751-56, 2006. Available at: http://jech.bmj.com/content/60/9/751.full. Accessed on: Nov. 19 2014
  • 6. LEE, Sungkyu; LING, Pamela; GLANTZ, Santon. The vector of the tobacco epidemic: tobacco industry practices in low and middle-income countries. Cancer Causes and Control, v. 23 (Suppl. 1), p. 117-29, 2012. Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10552-012-9914-0. Accessed on Nov. 17 2014
  • 7. BIALOUS, Stella; YACH, Derek. Whose standard is it anyway? How the tobbaco industry determines the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards for tobacco and tobacco products. Tobacco Control, United States, n. 10, p. 16-104, 2001. Available at: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/10/2/96.full. Accessed on: Nov. 18 2014.

Bulletin eleven published by the Center for Studies on Tobacco and Health of the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Cetab/Ensp/Fiocruz). This edition consists of an editorial signed by Luis Guilherme Hasselmann; opinion on the integration of agrarian control in accordance with the global demands of COP 10, by Breno Gaspar; interview with Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva – Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Implementation of the Framework Convention (CONICQ) and extra news.


DESAFIOS e perspectivas: indústria do tabaco, saúde e agricultura familiar no Brasil [boletim DOZE]. Cetab/Ensp/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, n. 12, 27 mar. 2024.



Highlights with topics considered to be of note in order to promote debates and decision-making in the context of tobacco control. In this edition, the agenda deals with: the Tobacco Industry's lobby for the Regulation of Electronic Smoking Devices (EDSs); tax reform: an important step for Public Health; a critical look at the tobacco industry and DEFs: a growing danger for passive smokers indoors.


KORNALEWSKI, Alex Medeiros; CARVALHO, Alexandre Octavio Ribeiro de; BARATA, Danielle; HASSELMANN, Luis Guilherme; TURCI, Silvana Rubano. Destaques do Observatório sobre as Estratégias da Indústria do Tabaco. Cetab/Ensp/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, jul. 2023. Acesso em: 31 jul. 2023.



 Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has secured the 2021 proceeds from the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with tobacco companies. 

The historic, multibillion-dollar agreement was signed in 1998 by 46 states and numerous other jurisdictions to settle consumer-protection lawsuits for Americans' health and social costs for smoking.

Fonte: https://www.5newsonline.com/article/news/local/arkansas-receives-593-million-in-tobacco-settlement-funds-attorney-general-rutledge/527-cf1c892c-d94f-4c67-94ca-c81cc166c6a3



As duas faces da indústria do tabaco durante a pandemia de COVID-19




A Organização Mundial da Saúde alertou os governos sobre o envolvimento com a indústria do tabaco sobre o desenvolvimento de vacinas contra o coronavírus. A British American Tobacco, cujas marcas de cigarros incluem Lucky Stripe e Dunhill, disse este mês que fez um avanço significativo no desenvolvimento de um potencial candidato a vacina para o Covid-19. à base de plantas.No entanto, as vacinas do Big Tobacco representariam um dilema para autoridades de saúde pública e governos. Os membros da convenção-quadro sobre controle do tabaco da OMS tem restrições ao lidar com essa indústria


BE wary of working with Big Tobacco, says WH. The Times, Inglaterra, 13 abr. 2020. Disponível em: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/be-wary-of-working-with-big-tobacco-says-who-bf0qlxbtk?shareToken=3afc39a1ee0fb8f71fd34df0c228e028 . Acesso em: 4 mai. 2020.



This essay seeks to describe the efforts made to portray the “reality of smuggling” in Brazil by analyzing the instruments and the strategies of the actors involved in these efforts, such as the Institute for Social and Economic Development of the Borders (IDESF), the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP), the Brazilian Institute for Ethics in Competition (ETCO), and the Brazilian Association for Combating Counterfeiting (ABCF). Smuggling has emerged as a critical topic in the agenda of the antipiracy coalition, and is associated with certain spaces, actors, and dynamics that define its key circuits, both territorially and socially: land borders (especially with Paraguay) traversed by commercial circuits that feed popular markets. By contemplating the actors, performances, instruments, and variables chosen to compose the figures of smuggling, it is possible to appreciate the agenda that is being put forward and the effects on the government and management of those circuits.


RABOSSI, Fernando. Smuggling realities: On numbers, borders, and performances. Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Estados Unidos, v. 8, n. 1-2, p. 265-281, 2018. Disponível em: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/698218. Acesso em: 7 ago. 2023.



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