PH ranks 14th in first-ever global tobacco industry interference index
(Manila, Philippines – 13 October, 2019) The first-ever Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index (Index) published Thursday, October 10, 2019 by STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products), a global tobacco industry watchdog, placed the Philippines at rank 14 out of 33 countries in terms of effectiveness in implementing measures designed to protect public policies, programs and offices from tobacco industry interference.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines “tobacco industry interference” as the use by the tobacco industry of its “economic power, lobbying and marketing machinery, and manipulation of the media to discredit scientific research and influence governments in order to propagate the sale and distribution of its deadly product.”
“We commend the Philippine government for the good ranking the country garnered in the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2019. This serves as an inspiration but more importantly a reminder that there is still more to be done in strengthening our public policies and programs as well as our bureaucracy against meddling by the deceptive tobacco industry,” said Atty. Benedict Nisperos, Legal Consultant of HealthJustice Philippines, a Manila-based public health think tank and advocacy organization.
United Kingdom, Uganda, and Iran took the top spots while Bangladesh, Jordan and Japan placed the lowest.
The Index rates countries on a scale of 0 to 100 based on the response by civil society groups. A higher score means a higher occurrence of or greater vulnerability to tobacco industry meddling. The indicators are the industry’s participation in policy development; tobacco industry-related corporate social responsibility; benefits given to the tobacco industry; unnecessary interaction between government and industry; measures for transparency; preventing conflicts of interests; and measures that prevent industry influence.
The report on the index also revealed that there is growing evidence that the tobacco industry has been using e-cigarettes to justify interactions with government officials. In 2018, tobacco companies in Philippines, Lebanon, Mexico, and Turkey lobbied for laws that would make it easier for them to sell and promote e-cigarettes.
“The Philippine government should be wary now more than ever because the tobacco industry is deceiving people into thinking that it is concerned about lives and health, when in fact it is merely trying to sell harmful and deadly products like e-cigarettes and vapes particularly to the youth. Our government should be on guard against false health and safety claims, which could lure public officials into approving policies that are in favor of the industry but are prejudicial to public health,” added by Nisperos.
Download here: HJ PR PH TIII2019_13Oct2019
To access the full Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index please click this link : GlobalTIIIndex_Report_2019