The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Media Releases

Statement by the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

 

The global tobacco control community remains deeply concerned by the creation of the so-called “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World”, funded exclusively by the multinational tobacco company, Philip Morris International (PMI).

In its 14 Oct. issue, The Lancet published four pieces on the Foundation, including one by its head, Derek Yach.“The articles in the most recent issue of The Lancet have, if anything, raised our level of alarm,” said Francis Thompson, Executive Director of the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control (FCA). The FCA is a global alliance of nearly 500 member organisations in more than 100 countries.

FCA notes that there is a long and tragic history of tobacco companies funding questionable research to delay effective measures to reduce deaths from smoking. Aware of their lack of credibility on health, Philip Morris and other tobacco companies also have a lengthy track record of paying third parties to advance their arguments and providing funds for what they describe as independent research efforts..

It is because of this history that the countries of the world, in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), made a binding legal commitment to protect their policy-making process from tobacco industry interference, via Article 5.3 of the Convention and later via detailed Guidelines for its implementation. For example, the latter include the important reminder that “Parties should interact with the tobacco industry only when and to the extent strictly necessary to enable them to effectively regulate the tobacco industry and tobacco products.”

Many details about the new Foundation remain surprisingly vague – notably including the terms of its funding arrangement with PMI. FCA members are left to conclude that it is part of a broader strategy to undermine global efforts, enshrined in the WHO FCTC, to prevent and reduce tobacco use. The FCTC is the world’s first health treaty, which binds more than 180 countries and covers more than 90% of the world’s population. PMI and other tobacco companies have a long and well documented history of seeking to dilute the FCTC and prevent its implementation.

Accordingly, the FCA recommends that no government, organisation or researcher accept money from, endorse or enter into partnerships with the PMI-funded Foundation. “We strongly urge all governments and government institutions to abide by Article 5.3 and all other bodies and institutions to uphold the spirit of this important safeguard against tobacco industry influence,” said Thompson.

The slow-motion tragedy of the continuing global tobacco epidemic requires us to work harder to implement what already works – and tobacco industry resistance is a key impediment to doing so.

It also requires us to be open to new ideas and vigorous debate, including on matters of harm reduction. But given the track record of the tobacco industry and PMI, its continued aggressive marketing of its cigarette products and its opposition to the full and effective implementation of the FCTC, there is serious reason to be concerned about the true independence and long-term impact of the Foundation. This debate needs to occur without the toxic influence of tobacco industry lobbying and funding.

For further information:

Francis Thompson

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mob.:+1 613 355 6532 (Canada, EDT = GMT-4)

 

Civil society exposes industry tax campaign in Bangladesh

A press conference organised by PROGGA and the Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance on 8 MayAs budget season nears, Bangladesh cigarette makers are attempting to enlist the government’s National Board of Revenue (NBR) in a campaign to highlight the danger of cigarette smuggling, which companies say results from raising tobacco taxes.

FCA in action during COP6

The sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) took place 13-18 October in Moscow.

As always, FCA was there representing global civil society.

Take a look below at what we got up to. Click on an image for caption information.

COP6, FCA in Action

  • COP6: FCA in Action

    COP6: FCA in Action

    On Day 1 we presented FCA's views to COP6 delegates .

  • COP6: FCA in Action

    COP6: FCA in Action

    FCA member, Canadian Cancer Society, released its pack warnings report.

  • COP6: FCA in Action

    COP6: FCA in Action

    During FCTC COP sessions finding consensus was not always easy.

  • COP6: FCA in Action

    COP6: FCA in Action

    FCA's daily conference Bulletin was a hot item.

  • COP6: FCA in Action

    COP6: FCA in Action

    FCAers & delegates from Kenya discuss tobacco control during the African region briefing.

  • COP6: FCA in Action

    COP6: FCA in Action

    Veteran tobacco control advocate Olcott Gunasekera shows us the way at COP6.

 

More about COP6

 

FCTC COP7: Parties outline a path toward saving more lives

NEW DELHI, 12 November 2016 – Parties to the global tobacco control treaty now possess the outline of a path toward faster implementation at country level of the lifesaving measures in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control*, despite mixed results from six days of negotiations.

Global demand for cigarette graphic warnings grows

Over 100 countries and territories now require cigarette picture health warnings, marking a significant milestone in global public health that will reduce smoking and save lives.

FCA Policy Briefing for COP7: Tobacco Control in Trade and Investment Agreements

 

Key Recommendations

  • COP7, at the minimum, should acknowledge that
  1. Discussion of the FCTC in trade and investment negotiations (as done in the TPPA) is a step in the right direction, if not considered a “best practice”.
  2. Parties that manage to explicitly protect their ability to implement the WHO FCTC within the text of trade and investment agreements should be lauded and emulated.

 

  • If COP7 intends to set a standard in this area, it should adopt a Decision requesting Parties ensure, on their own or in co-operation with other Parties, including regional trade blocs, that measures taken in furtherance of the WHO FCTC are fully protected when negotiating and signing trade and investment agreements.
  • COP should explore a mechanism to formalize the process for the FCTC Secretariat to intervene on the health science elements of tobacco control measures that are challenged under trade and investment regimes.
  • The FCTC Secretariat should also explore ways to engage the FCTC dispute provisions under Article 27, or alternative means of providing a forum under Article 23.5, to allow parties to engage other parties that facilitate industry interference in trade or investment fora.
  • WHO, the Secretariat and other development partners should seek to raise funding to address awareness, conduct capacity building, and support Parties which are moving in the direction stated above. Such efforts not only potentially expand or retain another Parties’ regulatory space for tobacco control in the face of serious tobacco industry challenges, but will also provide global prominence to the FCTC.
  • COP7 should also request that the Secretariat monitor industry interference at WTO and other trade institutions.

 

Download:

Tobacco Control in Trade and Investment Agreements

Visit our page of COP7 resources

 

FCA policy briefing for COP7: Transparency of Parties’ delegations ...during sessions of the COP ...

Key recommendations:

  • FCA fully supports Article 5.3 and its guidelines, and believes the tobacco industry should be prevented from infiltrating COP sessions through the public badge;
  • FCA recommends Parties apply a pre-screening process for members of the public to screen out tobacco industry representatives from bona fide members of the public in advance of COP sessions;
  • FCA recognises the importance of media attendance at COP sessions and recommends Parties apply a pre-screening process for members of the media to ensure the tobacco industry cannot infiltrate FCTC meetings through the media.

Download:

 

Visit our page of COP7 resources

 

FCA Policy Briefing for COP7: Implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC

Key recommendations:

FCA recognises that Parties face a number of barriers in implementing Article 5.3 and may need support from experts, and other resources, to implement it successfully. FCA recommends the following actions at COP7 to ensure Parties have access to the resources and support they need:

  • Establish a Knowledge Hub on Article 5.3 to act as a centralised resource for providing Parties ongoing support to implement Article 5.3 and to elevate the profile of Article 5.3 across the whole of government amongst Parties;
  • The COP should support the Knowledge Hub by dedicating the necessary funding to have it perform these functions;
  • The Secretariat should help coordinate the work of the Knowledge Hub with that of regional Tobacco Industry Monitoring Centres (Observatories) and report its findings to COP8;
  • The COP should ensure that Article 5.3 implementation assistance is well reflected in relevant COP7 decisions, including on implementation review and resource mobilisation.

Download:

Visit our page of COP7 resources

FCTC Parties must adopt measures for faster implementation

NEW DELHI, 4 November 2016 – One billion people – nearly the population of India – will die from tobacco use this century unless current trends change: Parties to the FCTC COP meeting in New Delhi next week can take meaningful steps to alter that forecast.

FCA Policy Briefing for COP7: Sustainable measures to strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC: report by the working group

Key recommendations

  • A number of recommendations proposed by the working group are related to resource mobilisation and should be adopted by COP7;
  • COP should further elaborate on some of these recommendations and take the following actions:
  1. Regularly review and endorse priority implementation needs of Parties;
  2. Request the Secretariat to organise an FCTC financing dialog to communicate Parties’ implementation needs to donors; and
  3. Appropriately include work on investment studies for FCTC implementation both globally and country level, as well as on an Art 5.2 toolkit, in the FCTC workplan and budget.
  • Work should be undertaken so that an action plan on implementation assistance is submitted to COP8 for consideration. The plan should reflect COP’s commitment to reduce tobacco use prevalence by 30 percent by 2025.

Download:

Visit our page of COP7 resources

 

COP7 video preview

Watch FCA Executive Director Francis Thompson preview the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). It takes place 7-12 November 2016 in New Delhi, India.

Tobacco industry targets Cameroon kids

Sales outlets next to a schoolThe tobacco industry is using multiple marketing strategies to encourage school children in Cameroon to smoke, a recent report found.

Invest in tobacco control to end poverty: SEATCA

 SEATCA Executive Director, Ms. Bungon Ritthiphakdee.

Bangkok, Thailand - 30 August 2016: It is possible to end poverty in the next 14 years.