Industry Influences on Tobacco Control in Sri Lanka: 1990’s

From TobaccoUnmasked
Jump to: navigation, search

Background

This post is based on two Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) documents archived in the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents library;

The strategies mentioned were;

  • Company Representatives as Observers in Tobacco Control Committees
  • Interactions with Policy Makers
  • A Self-Imposed Code of Conduct
  • Influencing Illicit Tobacco Raids
  • Negotiating Tax Structures with the Treasury

Details used are mentioned below with images showing excerpts from the original document.

Company Representatives as Observers in Tobacco Control Committees

In the Document 1 (Image 1), it is explained that being an ‘observer’ in the National Committee on Tobacco & Health gives them early warnings about ‘proposed restrictions’ and enables the CTC to forward their views to key decision makers.[1]

Image 1: Excerpt from the page 15 of the CTC document titled Sri Lanka Company Plan(Document No.1), referring to benefits of being an observer in the National Committee on Tobacco & Health and interacting with Ministry of Health officials.[1]

Interactions with Policy Makers

Was seen in three levels;

  • Individual level interactions
  • Institutional level interactions
  • Mass communications/campaigns

Individual Level Interactions

Document 1 (Image 1) and Document 2 (Image 2) both highlight use of interactions with ‘key’ individuals in influencing control actions. Three types of such ‘key’ individuals mentioned are;

  • Decision makers – “…enable us to put forward the Company’s position to key decision makers...”(Image 1)[1]
  • Health Ministry officials – “Contact with the key officials of the Ministry of Health will be continued.” (Image 1)[1]
  • President of Sri Lanka – “On hearing this we faxed H.E. and the draft bill was not placed on the order paper of Parliament.” (Image 2)[2]
Image 2: Excerpt from Page 1 of the CTC document titled Ceylon Tobacco Company limited code of conduct for marketing activities in Sri Lanka (Document No.2) referring to individual level interactions with the President of Sri Lanka[2]

Institutional Level Interactions

According to the Document No.1, CTC interacted with the Ministry of Finance to influence tobacco control actions as mentioned below;
Image 3: Excerpt from the page 15 of the CTC document titled Sri Lanka Company Plan(Document No.1) referring to interacting with the Treasury to develop the Excise tax structure[1]
  • Negotiating Tax Structures with the Treasury - National Treasury, or the Ministry of Finance is the government institution responsible for developing and executing finance policies.[3]. According to the Document No.1 (Image 3), the Excise structure proposal supposed to be implemented in 1995 was developed by the CTC “in consultation with the Treasury”.[1]
    Image 4: Excerpt from the page 15 of the CTC document titled Sri Lanka Company Plan(Document No.1) referring to influencing control of illicit tobacco trade.[1]
  • Liaising with Authorities to Control Illicit Tobacco - Controlling illicit tobacco is the responsibility of the Department of Excise, functioning under the Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka. Further, it is also responsible for executing the Tobacco Tax Act of 1999 and the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Act[4] According to Document No.1, CTC liaised with authorities to regulate illicit tobacco in ways beneficial to the company (Image 4)[1]

Mass Communications/Campaigns

Document No.1 describes a “corporate communication campaign” and a “corporate image survey” among “opinion leaders and other interest groups”. The “key interest groups” listed included government.[1]

A Self-Imposed Code of Conduct

Document No.2 (Image 5) explains how the CTC prepared Code of Conduct made them appear ‘sincere’ and got them a discussion with the Presidential Task Force (on Tobacco Control).[2]

Image 5: Excerpt from Page 2 of the CTC document titled Ceylon Tobacco Company limited code of conduct for marketing activities in Sri Lanka (Document No.2) referring to how the Code helped in getting the CTC to a negotiation with the Presidential Task Force for Tobacco Control.[2]

Tobacco Unmasked Resources

Other relevant TobaccoUnmasked entries:

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Unknown. Sri Lanka Company Plan British American Tobacco Records, 23 September 1994, accessed May 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 V Malalasekara. Ceylon Tobacco Company limited code of conduct for marketing activities in Sri Lanka, British American Tobacco Records, 05 April 2000, accessed May 2017
  3. Ministry of Finance Website, undated, accessed May 2017
  4. Department of Excise Website, undated, accessed May 2017