Tracking and tracing the tobacco industry

Potential tobacco industry influence over the EU's system for tobacco traceability and security features

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Subsequent to the transnational tobacco companies' (TTC) history of involvement in tobacco smuggling, the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP) requires that tobacco tracking and tracing (T&T) systems be established independent of the industry. In response, TTCs developed a T&T system, originally called Codentify, promoting it via an elaborate set of front groups to create a false impression of independence. The European Union (EU) is one of the first and largest jurisdictions to operationalise T&T. We explore how industry efforts to influence T&T have evolved. Methods: Analysis of tobacco industry documents, policy documents, submissions to a relevant consultation and relationships between the tobacco industry and organisations proposed by it and approved by the European Commission to provide a data repository function within the EU's T&T system. Findings: 17 months after TTCs sold Codentify to Inexto and Philip Morris International claimed Inexto was independent, leaked documents suggest TTCs and Inexto continued to have a financial and operational relationship. Inexto's meetings with TTCs, engagement with EU Member States and promotion of industry-favoured technical standards suggest TTCs influenced Inexto's activities, using the company to undermine EU T&T. The EU's T&T system appears to be inconsistent with the ITP due to its € mixed' governance and seven of eight organisations approved as data repository providers having pre-existing industry business links. Conclusions: TTC's efforts to maximise their control and minimise external scrutiny of T&T systems seriously limit attempts to address tobacco smuggling. Countries implementing T&T should be alert to such efforts and should not replicate the EU system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTobacco Control
Early online date22 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • illegal tobacco products
  • public policy
  • surveillance and monitoring
  • tobacco industry
  • tobacco industry documents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{a37f995a776843baa372bf89c8e00787,
title = "Tracking and tracing the tobacco industry: Potential tobacco industry influence over the EU's system for tobacco traceability and security features",
abstract = "Background: Subsequent to the transnational tobacco companies' (TTC) history of involvement in tobacco smuggling, the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP) requires that tobacco tracking and tracing (T&T) systems be established independent of the industry. In response, TTCs developed a T&T system, originally called Codentify, promoting it via an elaborate set of front groups to create a false impression of independence. The European Union (EU) is one of the first and largest jurisdictions to operationalise T&T. We explore how industry efforts to influence T&T have evolved. Methods: Analysis of tobacco industry documents, policy documents, submissions to a relevant consultation and relationships between the tobacco industry and organisations proposed by it and approved by the European Commission to provide a data repository function within the EU's T&T system. Findings: 17 months after TTCs sold Codentify to Inexto and Philip Morris International claimed Inexto was independent, leaked documents suggest TTCs and Inexto continued to have a financial and operational relationship. Inexto's meetings with TTCs, engagement with EU Member States and promotion of industry-favoured technical standards suggest TTCs influenced Inexto's activities, using the company to undermine EU T&T. The EU's T&T system appears to be inconsistent with the ITP due to its € mixed' governance and seven of eight organisations approved as data repository providers having pre-existing industry business links. Conclusions: TTC's efforts to maximise their control and minimise external scrutiny of T&T systems seriously limit attempts to address tobacco smuggling. Countries implementing T&T should be alert to such efforts and should not replicate the EU system.",
keywords = "illegal tobacco products, public policy, surveillance and monitoring, tobacco industry, tobacco industry documents",
author = "Gallagher, {Allen William Andrew} and Gilmore, {Anna B.} and Michael Eads",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055094",
language = "English",
journal = "Tobacco Control",
issn = "1468-3318",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tracking and tracing the tobacco industry

T2 - Potential tobacco industry influence over the EU's system for tobacco traceability and security features

AU - Gallagher, Allen William Andrew

AU - Gilmore, Anna B.

AU - Eads, Michael

PY - 2019/9/22

Y1 - 2019/9/22

N2 - Background: Subsequent to the transnational tobacco companies' (TTC) history of involvement in tobacco smuggling, the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP) requires that tobacco tracking and tracing (T&T) systems be established independent of the industry. In response, TTCs developed a T&T system, originally called Codentify, promoting it via an elaborate set of front groups to create a false impression of independence. The European Union (EU) is one of the first and largest jurisdictions to operationalise T&T. We explore how industry efforts to influence T&T have evolved. Methods: Analysis of tobacco industry documents, policy documents, submissions to a relevant consultation and relationships between the tobacco industry and organisations proposed by it and approved by the European Commission to provide a data repository function within the EU's T&T system. Findings: 17 months after TTCs sold Codentify to Inexto and Philip Morris International claimed Inexto was independent, leaked documents suggest TTCs and Inexto continued to have a financial and operational relationship. Inexto's meetings with TTCs, engagement with EU Member States and promotion of industry-favoured technical standards suggest TTCs influenced Inexto's activities, using the company to undermine EU T&T. The EU's T&T system appears to be inconsistent with the ITP due to its € mixed' governance and seven of eight organisations approved as data repository providers having pre-existing industry business links. Conclusions: TTC's efforts to maximise their control and minimise external scrutiny of T&T systems seriously limit attempts to address tobacco smuggling. Countries implementing T&T should be alert to such efforts and should not replicate the EU system.

AB - Background: Subsequent to the transnational tobacco companies' (TTC) history of involvement in tobacco smuggling, the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP) requires that tobacco tracking and tracing (T&T) systems be established independent of the industry. In response, TTCs developed a T&T system, originally called Codentify, promoting it via an elaborate set of front groups to create a false impression of independence. The European Union (EU) is one of the first and largest jurisdictions to operationalise T&T. We explore how industry efforts to influence T&T have evolved. Methods: Analysis of tobacco industry documents, policy documents, submissions to a relevant consultation and relationships between the tobacco industry and organisations proposed by it and approved by the European Commission to provide a data repository function within the EU's T&T system. Findings: 17 months after TTCs sold Codentify to Inexto and Philip Morris International claimed Inexto was independent, leaked documents suggest TTCs and Inexto continued to have a financial and operational relationship. Inexto's meetings with TTCs, engagement with EU Member States and promotion of industry-favoured technical standards suggest TTCs influenced Inexto's activities, using the company to undermine EU T&T. The EU's T&T system appears to be inconsistent with the ITP due to its € mixed' governance and seven of eight organisations approved as data repository providers having pre-existing industry business links. Conclusions: TTC's efforts to maximise their control and minimise external scrutiny of T&T systems seriously limit attempts to address tobacco smuggling. Countries implementing T&T should be alert to such efforts and should not replicate the EU system.

KW - illegal tobacco products

KW - public policy

KW - surveillance and monitoring

KW - tobacco industry

KW - tobacco industry documents

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85072599176&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055094

DO - 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055094

M3 - Article

JO - Tobacco Control

JF - Tobacco Control

SN - 1468-3318

ER -