The Tobacco Products Regulations Acts of 2003 and 2014 are not compliant with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Efforts to update these laws over the past few years have been delayed due to accommodating the tobacco industry’s concerns. In 2017, the Ministry of Health proposed tabling a tobacco control bill, however this never materialized.
Tobacco industry-related CSR activities are not banned. Government officials and members of parliament participate in these sponsored activities and commend the industry for its “enormous economic and social contribution to the country.”
Tanzania Cigarette Company (TCC) attributed the success of its business due partly to the government’s decision not to increase excise duty of cigarettes in the budget for the 2018/19 financial year, as per their request. The delay of tabling the tobacco control bill in Parliament also benefited the tobacco industry through increased cigarette sales.
Article 5.3 guidelines indicate interaction between government officials and the tobacco industry to be limited to only when strictly necessary, however this is not the case with industry activities on the ground. The TCC commended the government for “holding regular private-public dialogue to discuss private sector concerns.” In March 2018, the Tanzania president inaugurated the USD $30 million cigarette factory, stating: “I would like to assure investors that the government will protect them because their industries are providing a ready market for farmers and they are also creating jobs.”
The government has not put in place a procedure to disclose its meetings with the tobacco industry. While tobacco companies are required to register, there is no registry for tobacco industry-affiliated organizations and individuals acting on their behalf, such as lobbyists.
There is no evidence of any current government official holding a position with a tobacco company. The government does not prohibit contributions from the tobacco industry.
The government does not have a program or plan to consistently raise awareness within its departments on policies relating to FCTC Article 5.3 guidelines. The government has not formulated, adopted or implemented a code of conduct for public officials which would prescribe standards for their dealings with the tobacco industry.
The government does not require the tobacco industry to periodically submit information on tobacco production, manufacturing, market share, marketing expenditures, revenues and other activity such as philanthropy.
The government has not put in place a policy to disallow the acceptance of all forms of contributions or gifts from the tobacco industry.
The government must fulfill its obligations under the WHO FCTC:
- An FCTC-compliant tobacco control bill must be tabled in Parliament as soon as possible to protect the public, especially children and vulnerable sectors of society, from the harm caused by tobacco use.
- Tobacco-related CSR activities must be banned, as required in the FCTC.
- There must be a procedure for government officials to record all necessary interactions with the tobacco industry to ensure transparency.
- The tobacco industry should not be given any benefit to increase its business. People’s health must be protected. The tobacco business has an outsized impact on society: Many more people suffer and die from tobacco use than any benefit it brings to the economy.
- A code of conduct must be developed for government officials to provide guidance on dealing with the tobacco industry, including limiting it to only when strictly necessary. The code will stop government officials from endorsing the tobacco industry and tobacco-related activities.
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