Challenges of conflict of interest, co-ordination and collaboration in small island contexts: Towards effective tobacco control governance in the UK Overseas Territories: towards effective tobacco control governance in UK Overseas Territories

Rachel Barry, Sarah Hill, Sarah Williams, Jeff Collin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) are semi-autonomous jurisdictions that face distinctive challenges in implementing tobacco control and protecting policy from industry influence. They are not eligible to become independent parties of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), although they can apply for treaty extension under the UK's ratification. This study explores the relevance of the FCTC-particularly Article 5.3-for tobacco control governance across a sample of UKOTs. METHODS: From March to May 2019, we interviewed 32 stakeholders across four territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, St Helena) at diverse stages in implementing key FCTC measures. Thematic qualitative analysis explored awareness and perceptions in relation to tobacco control. RESULTS: Interviewees' accounts highlight the complexity of protecting health policy from industry influence in a context where the 'tobacco industry' covers a diverse range of actors. Despite not being formally covered by the FCTC, several health officials spoke about the strategic value of invoking Article 5.3 in the context of tensions with economic priorities. Nevertheless, effective tobacco control governance is complicated by territories' reliance on local businesses-including tourism-and close social connections that occasionally blur the lines between private and public spheres. CONCLUSIONS: The UKOTs share many characteristics with other small island jurisdictions, creating distinctive challenges for advancing tobacco control and protecting policy from industry interference. Despite their complex status in relation to WHO and its architecture, these territories benefit from the norms embedded in the FCTC and the systems that support its implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s39-s45
JournalTobacco Control
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022

Keywords

  • tobacco control
  • FCTC Article 5.3
  • UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs)
  • WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
  • small island states

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