Indicators of Influence
These seven key indicators highlight interference from the tobacco industry in China.
Industry participation in policy development
18 / 20
Tobacco industry-related CSR activities
5 / 20
Benefits given to the tobacco industry
10 / 20
Unnecessary interaction with the tobacco industry
13 / 20
Procedure for transparency measures
6 / 20
Avoiding conflicts of interest
8 / 20
16 / 30
These are roadblocks to Article 5.3 implementation, and ways China can deter industry interference:
In China, the Tobacco Monopoly Law provides a legal basis for the tobacco industry to directly intervene in tobacco control policy formulation. Further, the government directly runs the tobacco industry, which results in endogenous “conflicts of interest,” coupled with the characteristics of the high-profit tobacco industry, making it extraordinarily difficult for China to implement Article 5.3 of the FCTC.
- Strengthen cooperation with organizations to explore research and advocacy perspectives that are more in line with the current political and economic environment to reduce tobacco industry intervention.
- Consider further research on the impact of the CNTC’s CSR activities. At the first sight, many of them are guided by national policies (such as poverty alleviation) rather than commercial motivations. The following effects of such activities can be more indirect and permanent, often not entirely the same with those of the Western tobacco giants.
- The amount of evidence on the construction of a “civilized smoking environment” has decreased in 2019. However, civilized smoking is still one of the tobacco industry’s policy priorities. It is recommended to continue to monitor relevant progress, and to expose representative cases when necessary.
- Continually pay close attention to the development of the domestic e-cigarette market, and give timely and full exposure to the violations.
- Increase the supervision of China Tobacco International (HK), focusing on its operations globally, especially the establishment of overseas sales networks for new products as well as the interaction and cooperation between China Tobacco International, local governments and other transnational tobacco companies.
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