Strengthening Resistance to Tobacco Industry through Engagement with Non-Health Sectors

“Tackling the industry requires a symbiotic, holistic and comprehensive approach with trans-generational awareness and precise strategy to influence both legislative policy makers and citizens on the harm tobacco imposes on humanity.”
Geoff Alacky
Global Youth Leadership Nexus


There are three main tobacco companies, namely Solomon Islands Tobacco Company Ltd.  (a subsidiary of BAT), Solomon Sun Cigarette Company, Oceanic Oasis, a Chinese-owned cigarette importing company who control 98 percent of the cigarette market in the country. Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has not been implemented. 

Global Youth Leadership Nexus (GYLN) has been an active collaborator in the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index since 2019. In the 2021 Index, Solomon Islands garnered a total score of 63 out of 100 (ranked 50 in a survey of 80 countries), indicating a moderately high level of tobacco industry meddling in policy development. This is a deterioration from 2020 where Solomon Islands had 49 points out of 100. Noting the increase in tobacco industry interference in the country, GYLN recommended that Article 5.3 guidelines be integrated as part of International Public Service Administration and Management that is responsible for the public service.

Advocacy Innovation through Engagement with Non-Health Sectors

In 2021, GYLN conducted wide consultations with both health and non-health stakeholders to ensure a whole-of-society approach to advancing tobacco-free policies. Solomon Islands’ Index was sent to all government secretaries as well as to key non-state groups such as the WHO and youth and women’s organizations.

Since various aspects of policy enforcement fall under the duty of police officers, GYLN conducted a series of presentations on the findings and recommendations of the Index to key provincial and city commanders of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF). The participants highly appraised the presentations as it not only provided insights to tobacco industry interference but also fostered awareness among public officials on the country’s commitments to the WHO FCTC and their duty in regulating their interactions with the industry.

As a result of its active engagement with the RSIPF, a memorandum of agreement between GYLN and RSIPF will be signed in 2022 to roll out a strategic tobacco enforcement plan in the city of Honiara and later, throughout the province.

Noting the broad influence of the tobacco industry on the media, GYLN also engaged with the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, one of the biggest media in the country, to cover the findings of its report on national television. Discussions with other media platforms to cover tobacco-related issues were also initiated. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) supported this initiative and will conduct a series of media sensitization workshops as part of its core programs to advance the issue.

GYLN also strategically collaborated with the City Women Connection (CWC), a network of city women organizations representing various women stakeholder and community groups to sensitize, empower, and design a program of actions on women’s development in the country.


As a result of wide advocacy efforts, the Solomon Islands’ Index has been appraised by both health and non-health stakeholders. According to MHMS, the Index is a positive reminder for government departments to ensure all public officials are fully aware of the country’s commitment to the WHO FCTC, particularly Article 5.3. Additionally, the MHMS acknowledged a proactive way to use the findings of the Index is to hasten the review of the Tobacco Control Act to include provisions on Article 5.3 guidelines.

About GYLN: Global Youth Leadership Nexus (GYLN) is a sector of Reigning Impact Ministries (RIM) is a community of young emerging and emergent professional motivated to train, empower and equipped the next generation of young national leaders. GYLN is a partner of Solomon Islands Youth Congress an umbrella body overarching youths in the Solomon Islands under the Ministry of Women Youth and children Affairs. We are the only Non-State Actor representative that is part of the Tobacco Control Technical Advisory Group established by MHMS, that advise, plan, advocate, and oversee all tobacco control activities in the country.