Interference in Tobacco Control in Gabon and Ivory Coast
This page is dedicated to showcase a number of recent cases of how the tobacco industry is working to derail the whole process of FCTC implementation in Africa.
In 2015, the tobacco industry funded a workshop in Gabon on 26 May and a residential one in Ivory Coast in a luxury hotel from 22 – 24 May. The objective of the workshop in Gabon was to allow tobacco companies to contribute to the development and implementation of effective tobacco control regulations. The objective of the workshop in Ivory Coast was create an institutional framework for exchange of information between parliamentarians, public sector actors and members of parliament on the tobacco issue. Both workshops were attended by parliamentarians, senior government officials and tobacco industry representatives. It was evident that the real motive of the tobacco industry for funding these meetings with high-level decision--makers was to influence the drafting and/or implementation of tobacco control policies in both countries.
The involvement of the tobacco industry in the process of development and implementation of tobacco control legislation and policies is contrary to the provisions of Article 5.3 of the FCTC which states:
“In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law.”
International response: The international tobacco control community responded by issuing letters of protests to President Ali Bongo of Gabon and President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, denouncing the events and explaining to both governments why it is not normal for them to accommodate such offers from and meetings with the tobacco industry. The letters were co-signed by the following organizations:
- African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA)
- Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK)
- International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)
- Framework Convention Alliance (FCA)
- World Lung Foundation (WLF)
- Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA)
- Economics of Tobacco Control Project
Read more (in French) on the subject:
- TDR de l’atelier d’ēchanges et de partage sur la lēgislation et l’environnement rēglementaire des produits du tabac en Cote d’Ivoire
- Compte-rendu: Atelier d’ēchanges et de partage sur la lēgislation et l’environnement rēglementaire des produits du tabac en Cote d’Ivoire.