The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

WNTD in the Western Pacific

By Annabel Lyman
FCA Pacific Island Countries Coordinator

Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognises individuals or organisations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. There were six awardees in the Western Pacific region this year including the Cook Islands Ministry of Health.

Jamaica seeks allies against Big Tobacco

Jamaica’s health minister is calling on supporters at every level to back the country’s upcoming tobacco control legislation.

“When it takes place, I will be calling upon PAHO (the Pan American Health Organization) and other institutions for support because we are up against a very powerful industry and it is going to require allies, local and international, in going forward,” said Dr. Fenton Ferguson on June 14.

More countries integrating FCTC into legal systems

At least 51 jurisdictions have now incorporated the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control into their legislation, according to a paper recently published in the journal Tobacco Control.

In addition, courts in at least 27 jurisdictions have now referenced the FCTC in decisions.

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.