Protecting local Government Public Health Policy from vested interests
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Improving Performance in Practice (iPiP), United Kingdom
Action on Smoking & Health, United Kingdom
ASH, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A659
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control states that “in setting and implementing 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”. The guidelines are applicable to government officials, representatives and employees of any national, state, provincial, municipal, local or other public institution.
The new Tobacco Control Plan for England states the government will continue to uphold its obligation under the FCTC. Local authorities are also responsible for meeting the treaty obligations.

Intervention or response:
The Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre (TCCC) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) worked with local areas to map key departments that fall under the remit of Article 5.3, then review their activities and policies for compliance with Article 5.3 and its guidelines. They used this audit to develop a strategy that will protect their public health policy from the vested interests of the tobacco industry.

Results and lessons learnt:
ASH and TCCC have built a toolkit to support local government to protect public health policy. The workshop will:
  • Make the case for local government to implement/amend policies in line with Article 5.3
  • Discuss the approach needed to embed policies in line with Article 5.3 in local government setting and explore ways of addressing the challenges that emerge
  • Present materials designed to support this process.
  • Include a short case study from a local authority who piloted the materials.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Embedding policies which protect tobacco policy from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry at every level of government is an important part of ensuring strong delivery of tobacco control across the whole of government. Local administration face particular pressures and challenges that need to be addressed through this process.

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