People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
Under Article 20.1 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Parties undertake to develop and promote national research and to coordinate research programs at the regional and international levels in the field of tobacco control. Towards this end, Parties agree to initiate and cooperate in the conduct of research and scientific assessments (including research that addresses the determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke and research for identification of alternative crops), and to promote and strengthen training and support for all those engaged in tobacco control activities, including research, implementation and evaluation.
Parties also agree to establish, as appropriate, programs for national, regional and global surveillance of the magnitude, patterns, determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke (Article 20.2). Parties shall endeavour to establish progressively national systems for the epidemiological surveillance of tobacco consumption and related social, economic and health indicators [Article 20.3 (a)], and should integrate tobacco surveillance programs into national, regional and global health surveillance programs so that data are comparable and can be analysed at the regional and international levels (Article 20.2). To facilitate this, Parties agree to endeavour to cooperate with competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies (including governmental and non-governmental agencies) in surveillance and exchange of information on tobacco consumption and related social, economic and health indicators (Article 20.3 (b)), and with the World Health Organization (WHO) in particular in the development of general guidelines or procedures for defining the collection, analysis and dissemination of tobacco-related surveillance data (Article 20.3(c)).
Under Article 20.4, Parties agree to promote and facilitate the exchange of information relevant to the FCTC, including publicly available scientific, technical, socio-economic, commercial and legal information, as well as information regarding practices of the tobacco industry and the cultivation of tobacco. In so doing, Parties agree to take into account and address the special needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition. Each Party agrees to endeavour to progressively establish and maintain updated data from their national surveillance programs, and an updated database of laws and regulations on tobacco control and, as appropriate, information about their enforcement, as well as pertinent jurisprudence. Parties also agree to endeavour to cooperate with competent international organizations to progressively establish and maintain a global system to regularly collect and disseminate information on tobacco production, manufacture and the activities of the tobacco industry which have an impact on the FCTC or on national tobacco control activities.
To assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to meet their commitments on research, surveillance and exchange of information, Parties should cooperate, in regional and international intergovernmental organizations and financial and development institutions of which they are members, to promote and encourage provision of technical and financial resources to the Convention Secretariat (Article 20.5).