Case against the State concerning article 5.3 FCTC

Ending the influence of the tobacco lobby on tobacco control

Case against the State concerning article 5.3 FCTC

In 2014 and 2015, Youth Smoking Prevention brought a case against the State of the Netherlands in order to end the structural, far too great influence of the tobacco lobby on the government’s anti-smoking policy. The request: enforcement of article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC.

This case revolved around Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organization (WHO). This convention dates from 2005 and has been countersigned and ratified by the Netherlands.

Article 5.3 stipulates that the government must not give the tobacco lobby any opportunity to influence the development of tobacco control policy. In short, the government must keep the door closed to the tobacco lobby.

Frequent contact with lobbyists

Until 2015, that was by no means the case. Research by Youth Smoking Prevention showed that civil servants and cabinet members had frequent contacts with representatives of the tobacco industry, also about measures to control tobacco use.

The door is now closed

The claim of Youth Smoking Prevention was eventually rejected, but by then the State Secretary of Health had already drawn up a protocol for government officials for dealing with the tobacco industry. That directive has now turned out to be quite effective: tobacco lobbyists complain that they no longer have access to the government.


tobacco industry | tobacco lobby | FCTC | article 5.3

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