What hinders implementation of the WHO FCTC Article 5.3? – The case of South Korea (2015)

Author: Sungkyu Lee              

The aims of this study are to identify what hinders implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3 in Korea, and to provide suggestions for the implementation of Article 5.3. Official governmental documents on tobacco control were reviewed. We also searched news articles for data triangulation. There were three factors that hindered the implementation of Article 5.3 in Korea. Firstly, there has been legal conflict between two tobacco-related laws, one of which is designed to promote the tobacco industry. The other is designed to promote public health. Secondly, the government has had economic interests in the tobacco industry, and its lack of action to effectively regulate the tobacco industry’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices has hindered the implementation of Article 5.3. Thirdly, the tobacco industry’s lobby and active interference in the policy-making process has been a barrier. To fully implement Article 5.3, this study suggests: defusing legal conflict between tobacco-related laws; not considering tobacco industry as a stakeholder; regulating tobacco industry’s CSR activities; raising awareness of tobacco industry interference; securing transparency between the government and tobacco industry; and establishing a core group or a committee under the government to implement Article 5.3.