People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
By Dhaka Ahsania Mission
On 29 May 2013, the Parliament of Bangladesh amended the Smoking and Tobacco Product Usage (Control) Act of 2005 by adding many tough tobacco control measures. These include a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertisement promotion and sponsorship, a ban on sale to and by minors, pictorial health warnings on tobacco packages, and a ban on use of misleading descriptors (like 'light' and 'mild') on tobacco packs.
If enforced effectively, the new law will lead to more stringent tobacco control, although some loopholes remain. The major loophole is the inclusion of designated smoking areas in public places. This exception was retained from the previous law despite strong demands by civil society and many members of Parliament from the ruling party.
By Dr. Tobias Effertz
Big Tobacco argues that tax hikes accelerate cigarette smuggling in Germany. However, what the tobacco industry forgets to mention is that higher prices actually pushed one million smokers in Germany to quit between 2005 and 2009.
The industry´s strongest argument against higher taxes on tobacco products is that more smokers will turn to untaxed and smuggled cigarettes. Untaxed cigarettes are bought legally in countries with lower prices, like Poland and the Czech Republic, and brought into Germany.
Reform of tobacco taxation made great leaps in various South-East Asian nations in 2012, according to the annual report of the South-East Initiative on Tobacco Tax (SITT).
Milestones included passing the Sin Tax Reform Law in the Philippines; influencing tobacco tax policy in Indonesia using research-based evidence, and passing and implementing the pictorial health warning regulation in Indonesia.
The report documents a number of lessons learned, including the importance of (from the Philippines):
On 26 April, the President of Kosovo signed a comprehensive tobacco control law that includes the strongest protections in the world to date against tobacco industry interference in policy-making. Those measures are based on Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The law incorporates nearly all measures in Guidelines to implementing FCTC Art 5.3. They apply to the whole of government and will be enforced by the national Anti-Corruption Agency. The measures include: