The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Opinion pieces

Positives outweigh negatives in Bangladesh's amended tobacco control law

Smoke-free bus Bdesh Dhaka Ahsania Mission 2012 WEBA smoke-free bus launched in Dhaka in 2012. (c) Dhaka Ahsania Mission.By Dhaka Ahsania Mission

On 29 April 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.

Exposing Big Tobacco's tax hike myth in Germany

By Dr. Tobias Effertz
Universität Hamburg

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.

Tobacco control in Latin America: past, present and future

Eduardo LAmerica 040213Advocates from Tobacco Free Chile. (c) CHLT.By Eduardo Bianco
FCA Regional Director, AMRO

Last December, Chile passed a comprehensive smoke-free law, so one major obstacle to a smoke-free Latin America (LA) has finally been removed.

Chile had the highest smoking prevalence in the region, and was a stronghold for British America Tobacco (BAT). That's why in 2010, the tobacco control (TC) movement set the goal of making the country smoke-free. And it has now succeeded!

Count-down to COP5

Francis ThompsonBy FCA Policy Director Francis Thompson

We will soon be three months from the start of the fifth session of the FCTC Conference of the Parties – a significant milestone, because it is the deadline for most of the official COP documents to be made public in all official UN languages.

This session of the COP promises to be particularly full of important issues. We can look forward to:

1. Adoption of the Illicit Trade Protocol – the only major document that has been available for several months.

Support FCA's work at COP5 in Seoul

By Chair of the FCA Board, Paula Johns

Dear FCA Members and Friends,

In a previous letter I discussed some of the key opportunities for FCA and its members to influence the future of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) at the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) in Seoul in November.

To achieve the best public health outcomes from COP5, we will require support from our members and friends to meet urgent needs, which include:

  • FCA members from low-income countries have been among the most effective advocates at all stages of FCTC negotiations. We still require funds in order to provide travel sponsorships (travel, per diem) to 10 advocates and experts from low-income countries whose presence at COP is vital. As you know, an unbalanced representation from civil society could jeopardise the outcomes of several critical issues.