Understanding and tracking tobacco industry influence in the UK: the United Kingdom tobacco industry interference index 2021-2023
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University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Raouf Alebshehy   

University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A10
Background and Objective:
The Global Tobacco Index (GTI) evaluates government implementation of Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). This legally binding Article aims to prevent tobacco industry influence over public health policy.

Using a standardised tool of twenty indicators developed by the South East Asian Tobacco Control Alliance we have examined the commitment of the UK to its obligations under Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC. Data has been gathered since 2017 to create a UK chapter within the GTI report. The first was published in 2019. Data is collected through searches of the academic literature, media and government websites, and routine monitoring reported on the Tobacco Tactics resource. This is supplemented by submission of Freedom of Information requests and consultation with the UK’s leading tobacco control advocates.

Data from the period January 2017 to April 2021 (inclusive) showed that the UK government performance in preventing tobacco industry interference has declined somewhat. The lower the score, the more robust a government is in resisting interference. The UK scored 26 in the 2019 report and 32 in the 2020 and 2021 reports. Data for the period April 2021 to March 2023 is currently being collected and analysed and will be reported at the conference to show changes in the UK`s performance and identify any specific issues under the seven areas of assessment.

The UK is a global leader in tobacco control. While it retains a high ranking in preventing tobacco industry interference in policy, it has moved being the first ranked in the 2019 Index to third in the 2021 Index. This latest Index will provide an evidence-based assessment of the UK`s status and a blueprint for the government to improve its performance.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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