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Global Health Community, Governments Must Exclude Tobacco Industry, Other ‘Powerful Corporations’ From Policy Discussions

Project Syndicate: Smoking Out Big Tobacco
Kelle Louaillier, president of Corporate Accountability International

“…[G]iven the fundamental conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health objectives, health practitioners and governments around the world must do more to prevent Big Tobacco from interfering in official policy. Indeed, they must erect an unbreachable firewall between policymaking and the industry at the national and international levels. … [W]ithout Big Tobacco at the table, [governments] are more likely to succeed in implementing measures for reducing smoking rates, whether tried-and-true policies like prohibiting cigarette marketing, or newer measures, such as eliminating branding from cigarette packages. Taken together, these actions are saving millions of lives. … Today, there are powerful corporations — from the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries to those engaged in water privatization and climate change — bent on reaping profit at the expense of people’s lives and the environment. … The only way to prevent them from doing so is to kick them out of the room. We have the tools to do it. We just need to use them” (10/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.