The law, “On Measures of Prevention and Reduction of Use of Tobacco Products and Their Harmful Influence on People’s Health,” declares that health care policy has priority over the financial, tax and corporate interests of economic entities whose activity is connected with the tobacco industry. However, this standard remains largely declarative and is not effectively implemented. Members of parliament and committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Taxation and Customs Policy are lobbied by the tobacco industry in policy development.
PMI conducts CSR activities and has access to the House of Councils, who express their appreciation for these sponsored activities.
Between 2017 and 2018, tobacco industry front groups focused on delaying the adoption of tobacco control draft laws 2820 and 4030a. As of April 2019, both draft laws had not been adopted.
International travelers can bring 200 sticks of cigarettes duty free into Ukraine.
Since 2016, representatives of tobacco companies and associations of tobacco producers participate in the process of destroying illicit tobacco. In 2018, the State Fiscal Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ukrainian Association of Tobacco Producers (PMI, BAT, JTI and Imperial Tobacco) where the government accepts support from the tobacco industry to tackle illegal trade and the illegal movement of tobacco products and equipment.
The law does not require the government to publicly disclose meetings or interactions with the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry has been meeting with policy makers, however these meetings have not been disclosed.
The law prohibits all forms of support from the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals or groups, including political parties or politicians, sportsmen or sports teams, artists or artist groups and educational institutions. However, the tobacco companies violate the law and have been making charitable contributions to NGOs, charitable funds and think thanks who in turn have an influence on policy makers.
In 2018 the government and the World Health Organization in Ukraine conducted training for government officials to raise awareness on policies related to FCTC Article 5.3 guidelines.
While the tobacco industry is required to provide information about its business, it does not provide information on marketing tobacco such as incentives given to the retailers or promoters, or marketing expenditure on tobacco displays at the points of sale. PMI and BAT do not report their expenditure on tobacco advertising on social media and paid SMS posts by influencers, or sponsorship of events that promote new products such as IQOS and Glo. The tobacco industry is not obliged to report expenditures on lobbying.
A code of conduct is needed to guide officials when dealing with the tobacco industry.
- Ban all forms of tobacco industry-related CSR activities as recommended in the WHO FCTC.
- Implement a procedure that records and discloses government interactions with the tobacco industry.
- Remove any benefit given to the tobacco industry, such as duty free cigarettes for international travelers.
- Require the tobacco industry to report on its expenditure on marketing and lobbying.
- Adopt a code of conduct for its officials when dealing with the tobacco industry.
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