Limited interaction with the tobacco industry
According to Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which Finland ratified in 2005, the Contracting Parties must, in setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law. The guidelines for the implementation of Article 5.3 state that there is a fundamental and irreconcilable contradiction between the interests of the tobacco industry and the objectives of public health policy. For this reason, all activities and interaction with the tobacco industry must be limited, responsible and transparent. This obligation applies to all branches of government, not just the health sector.
Interaction with the tobacco industry is necessary and essential in certain situations (implementation of legislation, technical issues), but general health-policy or related discussions are deemed to be in violation of Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
If interaction with the tobacco industry is necessary, it must be transparent. Where possible, any interaction with the tobacco industry should take place publicly, for example, through public consultations and communications and by making meeting minutes publicly available online.
In Finland, the electronic cigarette industry is considered comparable to the tobacco industry. This means that what is said above also applies to the electronic cigarette industry.
Meri Paavola, Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Safety, Security and Health / TUTO, Wellbeing and Health Protection Unit / HYT Telephone:0295163343
Reetta Honkanen, Senior Specialist
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Safety, Security and Health / TUTO, Wellbeing and Health Protection Unit / HYT Telephone:0295163684