Ranked 32 out of 57

Czech Republic

Overall Score: 60

Indicators of Influence

These seven key indicators highlight interference from the tobacco industry in the Czech Republic.

No. 1

Industry participation in policy development:

Indicator Score:

7 / 20

The national action plan for 2020-2021 includes key points from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) MPOWER measures, however, often only in general terms without any concrete vision. It is important to emphasize that the main tobacco control policies like taxes and packaging of tobacco products are under competition of the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance and representatives of these ministries admit that they are contacted by the tobacco industry mainly before discussing tobacco control in the Parliament or Senate. It is strange that the ministries do not reflect the arguments of professional organizations and repeat arguments similar to myths spread by the tobacco industry.

No. 2

Tobacco industry-related CSR activities:

Indicator Score:

3 / 20

There are no documents available about participation of government officials in any tobacco-related CSR activities.

No. 3

Benefits given to the tobacco industry:

Indicator Score:

8 / 20

There are signs of communication between the Ministry of Finance and the tobacco industry about raising taxes and that the government does not want to introduce tobacco control policies that could have an impact on the business outputs of tobacco companies.

Czech press shared that between 2017 and March 2019, products such as Philip Morris’s HEETS were excluded from consumer tax. New legislation which taxes heated tobacco only came into force in March 2019. Therefore, just on Philip Morris’s HEETS, the state could have missed out on CZK 400 million between 2017 and 2019.

No. 4

Unnecessary interaction with the tobacco industry:

Indicator Score:

5 / 20

There is no publicly available record of the national government accepting or entering into a partnership or agreements with the tobacco industry. However, there is a smoke-free city partnership between Philip Morris CR and Karlovy Vary which counts on cooperation with a number of other entities, such as hotel and spa facilities in the city, transport companies, schools and cigarette manufacturers who have activities aimed at reducing the risk of cigarette smoking.

No. 5

Procedure for transparency measures:

Indicator Score:

10 / 20

Currently there is no procedure in place for public disclosure of meetings or interactions government officials may have with the tobacco industry in cases where such interactions are strictly necessary for regulation.

There is also no procedure or requirement in place for the disclosure or registration of tobacco industry entities, affiliated organizations or individuals acting on their behalf including lobbyists.

No. 6

Avoiding conflicts of interest:

Indicator Score:

7 / 20

The government does not prohibit contributions from the tobacco industry or any entity working to further its interests to political parties, candidates or campaigns or disclosure of these contributions.

A law on lobbying and conflict of interest is being prepared, currently in the Parliament/Chamber of Deputies (Document of the Chamber No. 565). The aim of the act is to make corporate lobbyists (including the tobacco industry) report their activities and clientele. Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will be taken into account. The planned entry date of this act is January 1, 2021.

No. 7

Preventive measures:

Indicator Score:

20 / 30

There is no procedure in place yet to disclose the records of interactions with the tobacco industry and its representatives. There is no code of conduct in place to guide officials when dealing with the tobacco industry. The government has not put in place a policy to disallow the acceptance of all forms of contributions/gifts from the tobacco industry including offers of assistance, policy drafts or study visit invitations.

Recommendations

These are ways the Czech Republic can deter interference from the tobacco industry:

  • Create awareness on tobacco industry interference across all departments of the government.
  • Adopt a code of conduct or guidelines for all government officials so that public health policy is developed free of tobacco industry interference.
  • Require information on production, marketing and revenue from the tobacco industry.
  • Require a registry of lobbyists and the tobacco industry’s lobbying expenditure. The registry should also record representatives of the tobacco industry.

Learn more about tobacco industry interference in this country.

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