Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
The World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) entered into force in February 2005 and is setting the agenda for national tobacco regulatory priorities in most countries of the world. The FCTC provides countries that ratify it with a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented nationally and internationally.
192 governments negotiated the FCTC and 168 became signatories – indicating an intention to become a Party. By the end of 2007, more than 150 were Parties, signifying that they either have, or will have, national laws in place to implement the FCTC as they interpret it.
The FCTC provides countries that ratify it with a global policy framework for addressing tobacco issues locally. Governments will over time consider updating their local legislation, reflecting their interpretation of the FCTC and their own circumstances and priorities.
SO6 Total value of financial and in-kind contributions to political parties, politicians and related institutions, by country
We collate information centrally on contributions to political parties and to individual politicians that are made for the benefit of their party. Donations in 2007 were as follows:
|2007: Country/Group company||£ equivalent|
|Australia: British American Tobacco Australia Limited.||56,213|
|Jamaica: Carreras Limited||28,970|
£ equivalent based on the same average currency conversion rates as used for the profit and loss account in the 2007 Annual Report and Accounts
We agree that tobacco products should be regulated in appropriate ways.
We seek to be part of the debates that shape the regulatory framework in which we operate. We support, and want to help deliver, balanced tobacco regulation. However, our intentions are often mistrusted and some people believe that we should be excluded from involvement in the regulatory development process. We believe we have a constructive role to play.
As an experienced tobacco business, we can provide information, ideas and practical steps to help regulators address the key issues surrounding our products – underage access, illicit trade, product information and the development of potentially reduced-risk products. We also recognise that to be excluded from the debate, and to have extreme or unworkable regulation imposed, may impair our ability to compete in the future and may not achieve desired public health objectives.
There has been debate in recent years about the perceived contradiction between what companies publish in CSR reports and what they may lobby regulators about behind closed doors. We believe transparency is the best response to this concern.
We will continue to publish on bat.com, and elsewhere, the views and positions we advocate to regulators on these and other significant topics. We also have a clear policy and compliance procedures for political donations set out in our Standards of Business Conduct.
Engagement with regulators
The implementation of the WHO FCTC is the main driver of regulation affecting our business and our consumers. We would like to participate in the process but are actively excluded from discussions. At an early stage, the WHO publicly stated: “The tobacco industry, its trade associations and key allies should be kept from the negotiating process”.
Instead, we approach stakeholders who are involved in the discussions to put forward our point of view on the spectrum of FCTC issues. As governments now look to interpret the FCTC into their own laws, we will continue to offer constructive views and solutions. Advocacy points on issues covering product, trade, manufacturing and marketing were provided to our companies in 2007, along with guidance on regulatory engagement which focused on constructive regulatory solutions.
Tobacco regulation is constantly changing and we will review our positions on key regulatory topics annually in order to ensure they remain relevant.
Transparency is important to help regulators who may wish to seek our views on issues being considered for future regulation. We hope that regulators will refer to our views, published openly on our website bat.com.
You will find more information on our approach to regulation and transparent lobbying, including our policy on political donations, at www.bat.com/regulation