The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

NCD Summit: encouraging outcomes

By FCA Director Laurent Huber

I had the privilege of attending the UN Summit this week, where I listened to heads of state and high-level government representatives make statements recognising the need for action on NCDs and their risk factors – many of which specified tobacco and the FCTC.

Again and again we heard that NCDs are a development issue that needs a multi-sector, whole of government approach.

Lebanon adopts tobacco control law

After five years of effort, Lebanon on Wednesday adopted a tobacco control law.

The law includes a full ban on smoking in all public places, a ban on all forms of ads and sponsorships, health warnings covering 40 per cent of both sides of cigarette packages and a maximum 20 percent of hotel rooms set aside for smokers.


Activists from Indy-ACT play soccer in front of Lebanon's Parliament in 2010 to symbolise how lawmakers were 'playing games' with tobacco control legislation. (c) Indy-ACT

It also promotes joint participation of the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior, municipalities and civil society in order to ensure effective implementation of the law.

3 weeks left to lobby for FCTC implementation

Negotiations on the Political Declaration (formerly the Outcomes Document) to be adopted at September's UN Summit on NCDs were last week postponed until 1 September after UN Member States were unable to come to consensus on the key points: specific commitments – such as tobacco tax strategies – funding, and follow-up mechanisms.  

This move signals ominously the risk that the Summit might not result in strong action on NCDs in general and on tobacco control in particular. However, the delay in drafting provides us with an opportunity to ensure that this doesn’t happen. 

FCA gets consultative status at ECOSOC

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted special consultative status to FCA at its recent session.

This status will give FCA access to nearly all intergovernmental processes at the UN dealing with issues of interest to ECOSOC, including economic and social development, gender issues and sustainable development.

Good news from Latin America

Tobacco control advocates have seen good news from Latin America in the past week.

In El Salvador, the Congress on Thursday 'overturned' the President's veto of the recently passed National Tobacco Control law, which includes 100 per cent smoke-free public spaces and graphic warning labels on tobacco packages.

Workshop unites activists from Lusophone Africa

A tobacco control workshop for Lusophone countries was held in Maputo from 28 June to 1 July.

The event was rare in that it brought together participants from Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe and Mozambique.

Goals of the training were to:

  • Strengthen the knowledge of tobacco control advocates;
  • Empower tobacco control advocates to initiative actions to pressureor effective tobacco control policies in their countries.

Two months till NCDs Summit - act now!

With two months to go until the UN High-level meeting on NCDs (aka UN Summit), 19-20 September, progress is being made on the draft Outcomes Document ('Zero Draft'). 

Last week UN Member States released an updated version of the Document, which contains a great deal of new language – much of it proposed by the G77 group and much of it very positive from civil society’s perspective.

Using this revised version, the NCD Alliance has updated its priority language, which is available with other updates on this page. You can use this language to lobby your government officials.

NGOs unimpressed by EU footwork

European tobacco control non-government organisations (NGOs) have responded critically to a European Union (EU) report about its role in negotiations on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The NGO report, Out of Step, says that the EU must take some responsibility for the global tobacco epidemic because much of ‘Big Tobacco’ exports its products from the region.

The report also accuses the EU of not adequately protecting its citizens from tobacco.

Dr Monika Arora wins GHC award

Dr Arora (top left in blue) leads a focused group discussion in a local Indian community. © HRIDAY

Dr Arora (top left in blue) leads a focused group discussion in a local Indian community. © HRIDAY

The Global Health Council (GHC) has awarded Dr Monika Arora its prestigious Best Practices in Global Health 2011 award for her health promotion work amongst adolescents through a non-profit based in India.

The non-profit - Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY) – works to promote health awareness amongst school and college students in India. HRIDAY is also an FCA member.