The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

WHA's positive outcomes only the first step

By Laurent Huber
FCA Director

I am happy to report that FCA's advocacy ahead of and at the recent 66th World Health Assembly (WHA) resulted in good progress on promoting implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC); however we will have to redouble our efforts if we want to see tobacco control become a priority on the post-2015 development agenda.

The 66th WHA adopted a strong resolution on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which will help us advocate for accelerated implementation of the FCTC. The so-called 'omnibus resolution' includes a number of ambitious commitments to turn the tide on NCDs and their risk factors, including:

• Reduce premature mortality due to NCDs by 25 percent by 2025;
• Cut tobacco use by 30 percent by 2025.

Members contribute to FCA programmes

Framework Convention Alliance has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH-US). ASH will continue supporting FCA programmes, and by extension the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), by the provision of resources to FCA.

FCA membership is free to its members, but the Alliance is dependent in part on contributions from member organisations like ASH.

We thank all members that have supported FCA's campaigns, and we encourage all of you to contribute in any way you can to strengthen the FCTC and its implementation.

Tobacco Control omitted from global development priorities

By Shana Narula
Program Consultant, ASH (US)

Who could not know about the harm caused by tobacco when we're celebrating World No Tobacco Day today, I thought as I prepared for an event at UN headquarters on May 31. But as I soon learned, I was wrong.

At the event, the release of the much-anticipated Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, tobacco control was not even mentioned among the interventions proposed to address the world's development challenges. But isn't an epidemic that kills roughly 6 million people each year a serious problem, particularly if this number is predicted to rise to 8 million by 2030? 

Australia - again!

Once again Australia has demonstrated a truly global approach to tobacco control by making a financial contribution above and beyond the annual levy on Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Australia's extra-budgetary contribution of A$985,000 will support the work programme agreed by the fifth session of the FCTC Conference of the Parties. This includes the intersessional group to complete draft guidelines on FCTC Article 6 (Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco) and technical and institutional activities to support the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.

FCA members vigilant on World No Tobacco Day

FCA members globally marked World No Tobacco Day with an array of activities, as you'll see in the photo slideshow below. But they also had to respond to the tobacco industry's attempt to subvert the Day's theme: Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

(Click on an image to see its caption)

Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) was the theme of the World Health Organization’s WNTD 2013. TAPS drives the industry’s marketing, which constantly aims at hooking a new generation of smokers to replace the roughly six million people who die each year from tobacco use.

In Jamaica, The Heart Foundation of Jamaica/Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control spent WNTD responding to a press release from local tobacco company Carreras Ltd.

Will Ireland overtake UK in tobacco control?

The UK could be about to lose its top ranking for tobacco control measures in Europe as Ireland steals the limelight following its decision to proceed with standardised packaging for tobacco. 

In a press release for World No Tobacco Day (31 May), FCA member ASH predicts that unless the UK decides to proceed with standard packs, Ireland will replace it as #1 in tobacco control among the 27 EU member states.

"The UK had the chance to become the second country in the world to introduce standard tobacco packaging but is now lagging behind as Ireland takes the lead," said ASH Chief Executive, Deborah Arnott.

Latest pictures: 2013 March/April

  • Harvard tobacco conference

    Harvard tobacco conference

    5 March 2013: Harvard University’s Governance of Tobacco in the 21st Century conference concludes that one billion deaths from tobacco are a key obstacle to global development. Find out more about the conference’s outcomes

  • Keep Spain smokefree

    Keep Spain smokefree

    6 March 2013: A grassroots movement in Spain launches a global campaign to defend the country's smoke-free law called Don't Touch the Law. Find out more...

  • Tobacco advertising in Dakar

    Tobacco advertising in Dakar

    7-8 March 2013: Tobacco advertising at point-of-sale in Dakar taken during FCA shadow report training. (c) FCA, Tih Ntiabang. More on the training...

  • APACT preconference in Japan

    APACT preconference in Japan

    16 March 2013: Some Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco (APACT) preconference delegates get together before the conference begins in Japan from 18-21 August 2013. © Japan Society for Tobacco Control

  • Congratulations Thailand!

    Congratulations Thailand!

    12 March 2013: Thailand announces its move to have the world's largest graphic health warnings on cigarette packages. Find out more...

  • Save our farmers

    Save our farmers

    13 March 2013: SEATCA and its partners launch in Bangkok, Thailand © SEATCA

  • Protobex protest

    Protobex protest

    20 March 2013: SEATCA and tobacco control advocates hit the streets to protest the international tobacco exhibition Protobex Asia 2013, which took place in the Philippines during March. © SEATCA

  • Protobex protest

    Protobex protest

    20 March 2013: New Vois Association of the Philippines takes part in the protest rally against the PROTOBEX Exhibition held in the Philippines. © New Vois

  • Bangladesh smokefree water vessels

    Bangladesh smokefree water vessels

    30 March 2013: Twenty public transport water vessels in the Daulatdia ghat, Rajbari district in Bangladesh are declared smokefree by the district’s authority. © Tamak Birodhi Jote Bata

  • TC in Niger

    TC in Niger

    29 March 2013: The Opening of the Information Day on Tobacco Control and Economic and Social Development, organised by SOS Tabagisme Niger with financial support from HealthBridge Foundation, on in Niamey, Niger.

  • FCA Annual Report

    FCA Annual Report

    1 April 2013: FCA releases its 2012 Annual Report. Download it here...

  • Smokefree petition

    Smokefree petition

    8 April 2013: The Japan Society for Tobacco Control (JSTC) submits a petition about smokefree legislation to the chief of the Yamanashi prefectural assembly in Japan. © JSTC

  • FDA prohibit menthol

    FDA prohibit menthol

    12 April 2013: Tobacco Control Legal Consortium attorneys and a university representative hand deliver a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration urging it to prohibit the use of menthol as a characterising flavor in cigarettes.

Our members get busy all over the globe from the US and Europe to Africa and Asia.

Find out what they got up to by watching the image slideshow below. Click on the image for more information.

Greetings from the new FCA Board of Directors

(The following are excerpts from a longer letter sent to FCA members on 20 March 2013 by the new Board of Directors of the Framework Convention Alliance)

Despite the fact that there will not be a meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body or the FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2013, the year ahead of us is going to be challenging for FCA. This is not only because of the sizeable workload to be accomplished between COP5 and COP6 in 2014, but also because of the challenges that we face as an Alliance.

Parties' payments to the FCTC: reasons for optimism

Opening plenary 290312 TihIt has been almost two years since the status of Parties' mandatory payments (also known as voluntary assessed contributions or VACs) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has been regularly uploaded on the official website. Has the public exposure of unpaid bills made any difference? In general, many Parties remain in arrears, but there are some positive stories to be shared.

When FCA highlighted the status of VACs for the first time in August 2011, the numbers did not look good. Forty-one FCTC Parties had never paid their contributions to the Convention and another 41 were in arrears.