March 11, 2009 - Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca) said since it took effect in 2005, implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in the region has been undermined by insidious tactics of big tobacco companies. Abuses by tobacco corporations have ranged from attempting to write tobacco control laws and blocking the passage of key legislations in the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia, and using so-called "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) to circumvent laws and regulations in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Seatca's Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee has stated that tobacco industry interference has been the number one obstacle to the WHO FCTC implementation. The region's governments have been vulnerable to interference through the industry's lobbying, public relations dealings and CSR activities, Seatca said in a statement.
Dr Mary Assunta, Seatca's Senior Policy Adviser, the tobacco industry has aggressively expanded its business in the Asean region. Seatca urged all parties to the convention to take strong measures to implement guidelines on Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC to block tobacco industry interference in regional health policies.
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Reference: Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Smoking In Asean Countries by D. Arul Rajoo BANGKOK, Bernama.com - Malaysian National News Agency, 3/10/2009.