Nepal gearing to protect public health from tobacco industry interference
There is a direct and irreconcilable conflict of interest between tobacco industry and public health policy. This conflict of interest is also enshrined in the preamble of the Article 5.3 of the global tobacco treaty (formally called WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control). The WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan had said at a recent meeting in Moscow: "Giving any tobacco company a place at the negotiation table [of global tobacco treaty] is akin to appointing a committee of foxes to take care of your chickens."
As implementation of domestic tobacco control laws and global tobacco treaty is advancing, tobacco industry is indeed facing the heat. Not surprising, that the industry has sued governments when they have attempted to implement life-saving tobacco control measures. Nepal is no exception. With more than 11 law suits filed by the industry and its allies against the Nepalese government's move to strictly enforce tobacco control laws, the Supreme Court decision favouring the government is a beacon of hope