Tobacco Industry Interference Index FCTC Article 5.3 (Jordan case)
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Lina and Green Hands Society, Amman, Jordan
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A69
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The tobacco epidemic is on the rise in Jordan and defined as a public health emergency by the United Nations. Prevalence of tobacco smoking among adult males is estimated at 70.2%. Additionally, the prevalence is also high among youths aged 13–15 years; Tobacco consumption also affects secondhand smokers, with 68% of adults and 62% of youth exposed to secondhand tobacco smoking.
Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC calls on Parties to establish formal mechanisms to protect against tobacco industry influence with tobacco control policies. Jordan, despite being one of the first countries in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to ratify the WHO FCTC has experienced continual interference from the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry has been pushing back against the implementation of tobacco control laws for decades.
The objective of this report is to present a comprehensive summary and assessment of tobacco industry interference in Jordan, using the index developed by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. The index explores actions for the tobacco industry in 7 important areas (level of participation in policy development, CSR activities, forms of unnecessary interaction, preventive measurement, transparency, conflicts of interest, benefits to the tobacco industry).

Conclusions and Recommendations:
Since the ratification of the FCTC treaty in 2004, Jordan has shown evidence of some regulation of tobacco companies’ interactions, however, the index score shows that the level of industry interference is high (79\100). When tobacco industry interference in Jordan is compared with other countries, the score is the same as Indonesia. No other country has a higher score, except for Japan. The leading causes for the industry and their front groups’ influence are the lack of laws or regulations that:
• Prohibit accepting support and sponsorship to various projects and causes, from tobacco industry through CSR activities.
• Provide transparency.
• Limit their interaction with governmental employees.
• Forces employees to disclose all meetings and necessary interactions with the industry.
• Prohibit all governmental representatives from accepting gifts/support from the industry.
• Prohibit tobacco industry from participation in policy level decisions.
• Prohibits government representatives from endorsing/supporting tobacco industry initiatives.