Tobacco (60) Q3. What is the role of the tobacco industry? (6)

16 March, 2023

Early in our discussion Eduardo Blanco, Uruguay said, "Progress [in relation to tobacco control] is slower than expected... Largely due to the great influence of the tobacco industry on decision-makers"

In what ways has the tobacco industry influenced policymakers? Which policymakers have been most influenced, in which countries? Is the influence mainly on national policymakers, and if so who has been most influenced, which sectors?

I suspect much of this influence is related to tax revenues from tobacco, and some may be related to personal enrichment and corruption? How is this being played out within governments? Between ministries of health and ministries of finance? To what extent are policymakers informed (or not) regarding the health, social and economic benefits of tobacco control? What can be done to better inform policymakers of these benefits?

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: