Introduction to ATCA TIM programme
In the context of the African Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC) project implemented from 2010 to 2014, ATCA developed a Tobacco Industry Monitoring (TIM) programme with a view to monitoring, countering and exposing the interference of the tobacco industry in tobacco control in 7 African countries. This page is designed to provide a snapshot of this programme which was conducted from January 2013 to September 2014.
Tobacco Industry Interference in Benin
During the past years, the tobacco industry was engaged in several activities to slow and weaken the tobacco control process in Benin:
- On several occasions, it attempted to interfere in public health policies and the legislative processes by blocking the process of revision of tobacco control legislation in Benin.
Tobacco Industry Interference in Congo Brazzaville
Several cases of interference of the tobacco industry in tobacco control have been noted in Congo Brazzaville.
- The industry is intensely engaged in delaying the process of validation of the four decrees that are required for the implementation of the law adopted in 2012. Despite the concerted efforts of regional partners, including WHO, the decrees still remain to be adopted.
Tobacco Industry Interference in Cameroon
The tobacco industry takes advantage of the absence of a comprehensive tobacco control law in Cameroon to develop its activities freely.
- It continues with the marketing and advertising of its product in violation of the Law No. 2006/018 of 29 December 2006.
- The proliferation of kiosks, posters, umbrellas, T-shirts and other communication gadgets bearing the logos of the cigarette brands is noticeable in the major cities of Cameroon.
Tobacco Industry Interference in Gabon
Gabon, with its political stability, is a hub for the tobacco industry. Having a small population, the tobacco products manufactured in Gabon allow the tobacco industry to supply the sub-regional market. During the past years, the tobacco industry made several attempts to interfere with and influence tobacco control policies in Gabon:
- It attempted to introduce among parliamentarians its own version of the tobacco control bill, parallel to the FCTC-compliant one prepared by the government and tobacco control advocates. This attempt was made through a Senator known for his proximity to the tobacco industry.
Tobacco Industry Interference in Gambia
The Gambia is not immune to the attempts of the tobacco industry to interfere in tobacco control and flout the existing legislative provisions:
- It conducts promotional activities despite the ban on tobacco products advertisement and promotion. The tobacco industry uses umbrellas, calendars, cigarette distribution and selling boxes and vehicles painted with the brand name of cigarette companies to influence consumers and promote tobacco consumption.
Tobacco Industry Interference in Senegal
Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris have a manufacturing presence in Senegal and the tobacco industry is highly influential on the government and its interference is a reality in Senegal:
- It interferes in the development of health policies, as indicated by a letter sent to the Minister of Health by the President of the Republic asking him to involve the tobacco industry in the discussions on the tobacco control bill.
Tobacco Industry Interference in Uganda
The tobacco industry tactics to market its products in Uganda and counter the initiatives for the adoption of a tobacco control bill included the following:
- Publication of articles in the media exaggerating the economic importance of the tobacco industry and its support to tobacco farmers. For example, on 12 September 2013, BATU published an advertisement in the newspaper « Daily Monitor » claiming to have paid Shs 16 billion to the 4,700 tobacco farmers of West Nile alone when these farmers are known to live in poverty and a state of indebtedness.