TnT (Transparency and Truth): a moment of truth for Switzerland?
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Swiss Tobacco Control Fund, Bern, Switzerland
Oxysuisse, Geneva, Switzerland
Cédric Gumy   

Swiss Tobacco Control Fund, Bern, Switzerland
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A12
Despite substantial financial possibilities, Swiss tobacco control is poor and ranks second to last on both the Tobacco control scale Europe 2021 and on the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021. It is well known that major tobacco companies use Switzerland as their global sanctuary, have transformed the country’s main economic trade organizations into unconditional allies and secured strong support from politicians. In 2018, the Swiss Tobacco Control Fund (Fund) invited young people and tobacco control experts to propose innovative prevention measures. They proposed to develop Transparency and Truth (TnT), a measure aimed at debunking the actions of the tobacco and nicotine lobby to defend its commercial interests, and describing the mechanisms used to influence public health policy. TnT is developed by two institutions and a task force of experts selected and managed by Oxysuisse.

Material and Methods:
TnT consists in the development of thematic modules “describing the facts and setting the record straight on various issues where the tobacco industry does not act transparently and truthfully.” Multi-thematic integration is encouraged, as messages can be mutually reinforced by connecting them with other topics (alcohol, sugar, environment). The topics to be developed (e.g. "New products", "New marketing methods”, “Violation of international laws and human rights treaties", etc.) are discussed, chosen by the task force and then developed by one or two partners. The modules should be eye-opening and attract public attention, while remaining factual and objective. Their contents are then translated into communication products adapted to different audiences, published on a dedicated website.

This is a work in progress and currently two modules are available on the website. We welcome questions, support, or personal involvement from international experts to improve and strengthen the measure.

Effective tobacco control will only be possible in Switzerland when the influence of the tobacco industry on political decisions is stopped. It has to be fully and transparently exposed. TnT is the first governmental project ever aimed at doing exactly that, following FCTC’s article 5.3. This is an important paradigm shift in Swiss tobacco control: the days of Switzerland’s being a haven for the tobacco industry may be numbered.

Both authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.