19 May 2017:
The International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC) has reportedly cut its ties with the transnational tobacco companies. According to a Financial Times report on 19 May, ITIC had asked tobacco representatives to resign from its Board of Directors and will no longer accept sponsorship contributions from tobacco companies.
Cutting ties with the tobacco industry is a good first step, but as part of good governance this must be followed through with a few logical next steps. These include:
- Make public on its website its policy of dis-engagement with the tobacco industry. This will serve as an explicit demonstration of its new policy. Other organisations that have cut ties with the tobacco industry have done so. For example the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent (IFRC Guidelines).
- Embrace the WHO FCTC Article 6 Guidelines as its benchmark on tobacco tax. ITIC must apply its new policy across all programs and to all its consultants; its programs and reports, related to tobacco control or illicit trade of tobacco are coherent with the FCTC, its Guidelines and Protocol.
- Take corrective action and withdraw all tobacco industry sponsored reports from circulation.