Project TnT (Transparency and Truth): a moment of truth for Switzerland?
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OxySuisse, Geneva, Switzerland
Swiss Tobacco Control Fund, Bern, Switzerland
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Pascal Diethelm   

OxySuisse, Geneva, Switzerland
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A61
Despite substantial financial possibilities, Swiss tobacco control is weak and ranks second to last on both the Tobacco Control Scale Europe 2021 and on the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021. Switzerland has not ratified the WHO/FCTC. Two major tobacco companies use Switzerland as their global sanctuary. The tobacco industry has transformed the country’s main economic trade organizations into unconditional allies and secured strong support from politicians.

In 2018, the Swiss Tobacco Control Fund organized a workshop bringing together teenagers and tobacco control experts, asking them to propose innovative tobacco control measures. The Transparency and Truth (TnT) project was one of their most consensual - quasi unanimous - proposals: It is a measure aimed at exposing the actions and tactics of the tobacco and nicotine lobby to defend its commercial interests and influence public health policy. The project aligns itself on the CDoH (commercial determinants of health) approach and on the FCTC Guidelines for Implementation of Article 12.

TnT is currently developed by two institutions and a task force of experts selected and managed by OxySuisse, a Swiss tobacco control NGO. Its main approach 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 (global warming, alcohol, sugar). The themes to be developed are discussed, chosen by the task force and then developed by partners. The approach is essentially fact-based.

Currently developed or in progress themes include "Greenwashing", "New tobacco and nicotine products", "New marketing methods”, “Human rights", "How the industry targets adolescents", "Voluntary and preemptive measures", "Corruption of science and scientific research", "PMI's FSFW: Yet another smokescreen?", "The real economic cost of tobacco", "The rhetoric of the tobacco industry", etc. The development of the modules is accompanied by a multi-faceted communication strategy.

Effective tobacco control will only be possible in Switzerland when the influence of the tobacco industry on political decisions is stopped. The first step is to fully and factually expose its practices and tactics. TnT is the first governmental project ever aimed at doing exactly that, in the spirit of article 5.3 of the FCTC and its implementation guidelines. This is an important paradigm shift for Switzerland.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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