The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

FCTC consistent with human rights – article

Tobacco control and human rights are “not in conflict but are mutually reinforcing”, according to an article published in the International Journal of Law in Context.

The article was written by Oscar A. Cabrera and Lawrence O. Gostin. It covers topics such as human rights provisions in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the right to access information, smoke-free places, and bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

"Given the tobacco industry's efforts to capture more consumers in developing countries, states need to intervene to protect the human rights of their citizens against the negative effects that these strategies will have on their health, life and standard of living," write the authors.

Nepal tobacco package warnings lead Asia

A volunteer from Nepal's Resource Centre for Primary Health Care (RECPHEC) attempts to educate a smoker in Lalitpur city about the country's new tobacco control law. © RECPHEC

Nepal now has some of the largest graphic warnings on tobacco packages in the world, including on smokeless tobacco packages.

The government of the South Asian country passed its tobacco control legislation in May 2011. It includes a ban on smoking in public places and graphic warnings covering 75 per cent of each side of cigarette packages and the packages of other tobacco products.

The other products include gutkha ( a sweetened mixture of chewing tobacco, betel nut and palm nut), khaini (chewing tobacco) and surti (tobacco leaves). 

The real reason PMI is leaving Uruguay

People in Uruguay's capital Montevideo walk among an installation of cigarettes set up for the meeting of the FCTC Conference of the Parties in 2010. (c) Perfil.

In October, tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) announced it was closing its operations in Uruguay. The company blamed “excessive tax and regulatory measures and expanded smuggled cigarette market that have damaged profitability”.

But the NGO, Centre for Investigation into the Tobacco Epidemic (CIET), says PMI is simply trying to maximise profits. "PMI has lost no market share in our country (they acknowledge having 21.7 per cent of the market, a percentage that nearly doubles the share of previous years), so its profits certainly did not drop," says a CIET media release.

Gates promotes tobacco taxes in report to G20

Raising tobacco prices is the most effective way to curb consumption. FCA reminded delegates at September's NCD Summit that they are losing billions of potential tobacco tax dollars. © FCA.

Another gathering of Presidents and Prime Ministers has heard about the benefits of tobacco taxes.

On Thursday the report of US businessmen and philanthropist Bill Gates to leaders of the so-called Group of Twenty (G20) countries – leading global economies – was released. It calls on them to address the current economic crisis and meet their commitments to tackle global development challenges.

Gates also showcases the potential of tobacco taxes to generate additional revenue and cut future health costs.

Tobacco giant involved in smuggling in a dozen countries - report

A group of investigative journalists is reporting that Japan Tobacco International (JTI) was implicated in smuggling carried out by its distributors in a dozen countries. 

According to the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, "Mobsters were doing business with the firm's Russian distributorship while shipping tons of illegal cigarettes into Europe. Workers felt endangered. Accused smugglers and criminals ran some of its Middle East partnerships."

WTO panel cites FCTC in trade dispute

For the first time, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution panel has pointed to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as evidence of the scientific merit of a public health regulation.

While the case did not centre on the FCTC or on the question of how trade law relates to it, the decision is seen as significant by legal scholars.

Neither Indonesia nor the United States, the two parties to the dispute, are Parties to the FCTC.

October 2011 tobacco control pictures

Every month Framework Convention Alliance members work hard in the fight for global tobacco control.

Click an image below to see what our members got up to in October.

Sourcing funds for health promotion

Find out how countries can benefit from sustainable funding for health promotion through the latest report from the Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax (SITT).

The report, titled Lessons Learned in Establishing a Health Promotion Fund, also outlines how tobacco taxes can provide the  source for a promotion fund, and how to set up and utilise funds effectively.

FCA’s five proposals for FCTC mechanisms of assistance

To date, more than 170 countries have become Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Moreover, the recent Political Declaration of the UN High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) calls in unequivocal terms for the accelerated implementation of the Convention.

Yet continuing challenges to the FCTC’s effective implementation – particularly lack of funding and capacity for tobacco control in low-resource countries – are undermining the success of the tobacco control movement to date.

Take Action to follow up the NCD Summit

By FCA Director Laurent Huber

Exactly one month ago, an important milestone in the global acknowledgement and response to  non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including tobacco use as one of its key risk factors, was achieved by Member states adopting a Political Declaration at the UN High-level Meeting (HLM) on NCDs in New York.
While civil society around the world celebrated the outcome of the HLM, it is critical now to rigorously follow up with governments on their commitments made, particularly on tobacco control.