History of Interference by the Tobacco Industry and its Allies during COP and MOP

This page was last edited on at


    • INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organisation, applied for observer status at COP 5. INTERPOL had accepted a donation from Philip Morris International (PMI), to promote the industry’s favoured Track and Trace system Codentify, which was being discussed at the Conference of the Parties as part of the Illicit Trade Protocol. Given INTERPOL’s links with the tobacco industry, the COP Bureau began an investigation into the application, which resulted in a rejection. Leaked Philip Morris documents note how this rejection was unanimous among the Parties to the Convention. For more details, see the page on INTERPOL

    • The Italian government nominated Carlo Sacchetto as part of the official Italian delegation to COP 6. Sacchetto had a known background in representing pro-tobacco interests, while the Italian government had previously already sent industry-friendly delegations to COP 5. This is a favoured strategy among the tobacco industry as it attempts to get pro-industry delegates through lobbying the government. For more details, see the page on Carlo Sacchetto

    • Reuters exposé from 2017 outlined detailed allegations that PMI attempted to infiltrate COP, despite knowing it was officially barred from participating.
    • In June 2016 the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) was created, with an explicit objective to influence the COP 7. Its website stated that: “The immediate objective for INNCO was to gain civil society consumer organisation stakeholder status and have a voice at the WHO FCTC COP7 conference in New Delhi”. INNCO was denied observer status at COP 8 but held a side event. It received funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World for activities around COP 9. For more details, see the page on INNCO.

    • In 2018, INNCO applied to attend COP 8 as an observer, but was later rejected by the FCTC secretariat. INNCO became active in lobbying COP 8 via Twitter instead. Research from the Tobacco Control Research Group found that  INNCO, its members, affiliates and associates made up a significant proportion of the total Twitter activity relating to next generation products (NGPs) and harm reduction. Specifically, it found that over half of the 50 NGP advocates identified were affiliated in some way with INNCO, either directly or with an INNCO member organisation, and that they were responsible for 63% of the tweets from that group. For more details, see the page on INNCO.
    • In September 2018, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping (APPG) held a meeting to discuss “the UK’s preparations for COP8”. The APPG is funded by the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), which has tobacco industry as members and on its board. Later that month, UKVIA released a statement urging the WHO to reverse vaping bans, and regulate e-cigarettes separately from “traditional combustible tobacco products”. For more details, see the page on the APPG

Print Friendly, PDF & Email