Addressing NCDs: Challenges From Industry Market Promotion and Interferences

Document Type : Editorial


International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand


Addressing the determinants of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is challenged by aggressive market promotion by tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food industries in emerging countries with fast economic development; and interference by these industries in government policies aimed at containing consumption of unhealthy products. This editorial reviews market promotion and industry interference and classifies them into four groups of tactics: (a) interfering with the legislative process; (b) using front groups to act on their behalf; (c) questioning the evidence of tobacco harm and the effectiveness of harm-reduction interventions; and (d) appearing responsible in the eyes of the public, journalists and policy-makers. Despite active implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food industries use similar tactics to aggressively interfere in policies, with the tobacco industry being the most aggressive. Policy interference by industries are effective in the context of poor governance, rampant corruption, conflict of interest among political and government actors, and regulatory capture in all levels of countries from low- to high-income. In addressing these interferences, government requires the practice of good governance, effective mechanisms to counteract conflict of interests among political and policy actors, and prevention of regulatory capture. The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors can be applied to the country context when engaging private entities in the prevention and control of NCDs.


Commentaries Published on this Paper

  • “Big” Food, Tobacco, and Alcohol: Reducing Industry Influence on Noncommunicable Disease Prevention Laws and Policies; Comment on “Addressing NCDs: Challenges From Industry Market Promotion and Interferences”

          Abstract | PDF

  • Addressing NCDs: Protecting Health From Trade and Investment Law; Comment on “Addressing NCDs: Challenges From Industry Market Promotion and Interferences”

          Abstract | PDF

  • Addressing NCDs: Penetration of the Producers of Hazardous Products into Global Health Environment Requires a Strong Response; Comment on “Addressing NCDs: Challenges From Industry Market Promotion and Interferences”

          Abstract | PDF

  • Big Tobacco, Alcohol, and Food and NCDs in LMICs: An Inconvenient Truth and Call to Action; Comment on “Addressing NCDs: Challenges From Industry Market Promotion and Interferences”

          Abstract | PDF


Authors' Response to the Commentaries

  • NCD Prevention and Control: Sustainable and Comprehensive Solutions; A Response to Recent Commentaries

          Abstract | PDF


Watch the Video Summary here.



Main Subjects



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Volume 8, Issue 5
May 2019
Pages 256-260
  • Receive Date: 21 November 2018
  • Revise Date: 16 January 2019
  • Accept Date: 16 January 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 May 2019