Vaping News

Government Issues Engagement Guidance

The government has issued updated guidance for government departments and ministers in their engagement with the tobacco industry

Share on:
The government has issued updated guidance for government departments and ministers in their engagement with the tobacco industry. The Department of Health and Social Care says that its advice is also for all public bodies in how they should act to protect public health policies when engaging stakeholders with tobacco industry links.

The Department of Health says the guidance sets out how interactions should be limited with the tobacco industry in line with the requirements of article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The guidance also applies across the UK government, including:

  • government departments
  • arm’s length bodies
  • agencies
  • local authorities
  • any person or organisation acting on behalf of the above bodies

This guidance should be used by these government bodies to:

  • ensure that they meet their article 5.3 obligations
  • draft their own guidance, considering their individual circumstances

The Department states: “The FCTC is the blueprint for governments to adopt effective tobacco control. It includes both price and tax measures, as well as non-price measures, with the aim of reducing the demand for tobacco and giving priority to public health. The UK government was one of the first signatories of the FCTC and takes its obligations under the FCTC very seriously. The UK ratified the FCTC on 16 December 2004. In 2019 ratification was extended to Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey, and in 2020 to Gibraltar. As of April 2023, there are 182 parties to the FCTC.”

For the purposes of the advice, the people the government are warning about includes:

  • organisations or individuals with commercial or vested interests in the tobacco industry
  • those that receive funding from the tobacco industry
  • those that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry, including organisations with directors from the tobacco industry
  • tobacco growers
  • associations or other entities representing any of the above
  • industry lobbyists

The Department adds: “There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests. Government officials should exercise caution during interactions with the tobacco industry, in all cases.

“When engaging with people who have links with the tobacco industry, all officials should be aware of their obligations under article 5.3. For the purposes of article 5.3 compliance, a trade body, association or other organisation with tobacco industry participation or funding would be considered to be part of the tobacco industry.

“The UK government will not accept, support or endorse partnerships and non-binding or non-enforceable agreements, nor any voluntary arrangement with the tobacco industry or any entity or person working to further its interests. Departments should also not accept, support or endorse the tobacco industry organising, promoting, participating in, or performing, youth, public education or any initiatives that are directly or indirectly related to tobacco control.”

This advice matters because the government is seeking to distance itself from the All Party Group for Vaping.

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Vaping News

A Missed Opportunity at COP10

The Smoke Free Sweden movement says that COP10 was a missed opportunity to save millions of lives

Vaping News

COP10: Promote Tobacco Harm Reduction

Experts with Smoke Free Sweden are emphasising the urgent need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction approach at COP10