The UK Government is a signatory and party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). As an Arm’s Length Body of Government, NICE has an obligation under Article 5.3 of the FCTC to protect public health policies from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. This position statement sets out how NICE meets those obligations.
In engaging with tobacco companies, those who speak for them or are funded by them (collectively referred to in this statement as ‘tobacco organisations’), we will ensure that:
- Tobacco organisations are referred to simply as ‘respondents’, rather than stakeholders or consultees. They are not partners in the development of NICE guidance. As such, individuals working for, or holding office in, tobacco organisations cannot be appointed to NICE’s advisory committees.
- NICE staff, its advisory committee members, and organisations that act on behalf of NICE in the development of its guidance, who interact with tobacco organisations, do so only so far as it is necessary to make them aware of relevant guidance and quality standards in development.
- Any communication, written or verbal, with tobacco organisations is recorded, and made available on the NICE website.
- Any comments received during the consultation process on guidance or standards, where members or representatives of tobacco organisations are acting as ‘respondents’, are made public, along with the responses to these comments.
- All organisations that engage with NICE’s processes for guidance and standard development are asked to declare any direct or indirect links with, or funding from tobacco organisations. These declarations are published on the NICE website.
- All research used when developing tobacco-related guidance is clearly referenced. Any evidence sponsored or supplied by tobacco organisations is identified as such, is carefully evaluated and assessed in line with NICE published methodology and used with caution.