Reaching for High Level Support for WHO FCTC Article 5.3

“Palau’s leaders are keen to prevent manipulation by the tobacco industry in public health policy. The Index not only established our benchmark for industry interference, it revealed specific areas where we are vulnerable and therefore the best practice policies that need to be strengthened and adopted”

Valerie Whipps
Chairperson, CTFP


To achieve a healthy island free from tobacco, the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Palau (CTFP) initiated various advocacy campaigns to proactively engage government officials, media, and the general public on the adverse impact of tobacco use and tobacco industry interference.

Advocating to High Level Support for Article 5.3

In 2021, CTFP officially released its Tobacco Industry Interference Index at Palau’s President’s weekly press conference, simulcasted live on radio, TV, and YouTube.[i] Immediately following the press conference, CTFP made a strategic in-depth presentation of the report to top level officials - the President of the Republic of Palau, his Cabinet of Ministers that included leadership from the Ministry of Health and Human Services, and leaders of the Palau National Congress represented by the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Delegates and chairmen of their respective committees on health, education, and finance. CTFP’s presentation provided a status update on the overall state of the country’s progress in implementing its commitments to the WHO FCTC with a focus on Article 5.3. Government officials at the presentation appraised the Index and expressed their genuine support for tobacco control as well as resistance to tobacco industry interference.

CTFP Chairperson Valerie Whipps and Vice-Chair Kambes Kesolei facilitated in-depth discussions with Palau’s leadership on the country’s status with the WHO FCTC considering Palau’s Tobacco Industry Interference Index.

In the recent Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index, Palau scored 40 out of 100, ranking 10th in a survey of 80 countries, indicating a low level of tobacco industry meddling in policy development but strong vulnerability from tobacco industry interference due to its lack of preventive measures. This is the first time that Palau released an Index on measuring and protecting public health from tobacco industry interference in the country.

Next steps

Following the high-level advocacy, concrete measures must now be adopted and implemented. CTFP is actively campaigning against tobacco industry interference by providing technical information to the government, media, and the general public on the country’s commitments to the WHO FCTC, specifically on Article 5.3 and its guidelines.

CTFP strongly believes that with these efforts as well as amendments to the current tobacco control law, the introduction of a code of conduct for government officials, and other preventive measures, Palau will be well equipped to reject any tobacco industry interference. 

About CTFP: The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Palau (CTFP) promotes the concept of a “Healthy Island” where individuals are free from tobacco and its effects by providing support, education and information regarding prevention and cessation of tobacco use, and by collaborating with local, regional, and international partners in these efforts.[ii]

[i] PNCC Live. Available from: (1:24:26)
[ii] Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Coalition for a Tobacco Free Palau. Available from: