The revision of the 2014 European tobacco products directive: an analysis of the tobacco industry’s attempts to ‘break the health silo’

Silvy Peeters, Hélia Costa, David Stuckler, Martin McKee, Anna B Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: After five years of intense lobbying on 3rd April 2014 the European Union (EU) enacted a revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). However, unlike previous legislation on tobacco, this occurred in a changed policy context, following adoption of both the EU’s ‘Smart Regulation’ agenda that the transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) anticipated would increase their policy influence, and Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which seeks to prevent TTC influence. This study aims to explore the scale and nature of the TTCs’ lobby against the EU TPD and evaluate how these developments have affected their ability to exert influence.
Methods: Analysis of 581 documents obtained through freedom of information requests, 28 leaked Philip Morris International (PMI) documents, 17 TTC documents obtained via the Legacy Library, web content obtained via Google alerts and searches of the EU institutions’ websites, plus four stakeholder interviews.
Results: The TTC lobby was massive, with Philip Morris alone employing over 160 lobbyists. Strategies were directed in large part via third parties. Efforts to “Push” (amend) or “Delay” the proposal and block “extreme policy options”, including plain packaging and a point of sales display ban were partially successful. Both were removed from the Directive during its progress through the Commission where a delay of three years occurred. These changes and delays followed a series of meetings between TTC representatives (including ex-Commission employees) and high level Commission staff and were enabled by the operationalisation of Smart Regulation via stakeholder consultation and impact assessment. Contrary to Article 5.3, these meetings were not disclosed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages10
JournalTobacco Control
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online date24 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2015

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The revision of the 2014 European tobacco products directive: an analysis of the tobacco industry’s attempts to ‘break the health silo’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this