The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

The fight to improve tobacco control in Jamaica – never give up!

By the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control

Jamaican school girl with a message, 2012.Eight years! That was how long it took Jamaica to adopt tobacco control regulations after ratifying the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). 

2005 was a good year for Jamaica: the FCTC was ratified, a series of progressive tax increases were levied on tobacco products, and draft tobacco control legislation was prepared. But for the next eight years there was limited progress on tobacco control in spite of the work of the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC) and the Ministry of Health.

UPDATED: 2014 tobacco control ‘hotspots’

Thai youth protest tobacco industry interference.Below is a recent update of some of the ‘hot spots’ in global tobacco control that FCA is watching in 2014. 

Many of them concern challenges from the tobacco industry to governments’ attempts to protect public health by implementing tobacco control measures. These occur at the national level (in courts) as well as in the international arena.

New graphic warnings for Solomon Islands

Congratulations to Solomon Islands! After years of efforts, the Pacific Island country in December 2013 passed regulations to implement its Tobacco Control Act (2010).

The rules require graphic health warnings on cigarette packages, covering 70 percent of the front face and 30 percent of the back. The warnings must be in place by 1 January 2015.

Big Tobacco’s challenges delay world’s largest pack warnings

Thai image FBThailand and Sri Lanka are being denied bragging rights for having among the world’s largest graphic warnings on cigarette packs because of challenges from the tobacco industry.

The Lancet blasts UK over plain packaging

Noted medical journal The Lancet has called the UK Government's decision to not implement plain packaging of cigarettes a "disgrace".

"What does the UK Government's decision say, if not that economics trumps health?" asks the journal in an editorial published on 20 July, adding, "The UK should join Australia and New Zealand in setting an example to the countries looking to strengthen their resolve against the tobacco epidemic."

Ireland prepares for plain packs

On 28 May the Irish Minister for Health announced that the Government’s Cabinet had approved the drafting of legislation for generic packaging.

The Minister for Health said he wants legislation drafted and prepared later this year, which he hopes will be enacted early in 2014.

Ireland would be the second country in the world, after Australia, to require tobacco to be sold in plain packages - free of manufacturers’ logos, colours and other brand imagery, and dominated by graphic health warnings. New Zealand has also announced it will follow Australia’s lead.

New Zealand to introduce plain packaging

The New Zealand government will legislate plain packaging of tobacco products, making it the second country (after Australia) to introduce plain packs.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday (featured on the New Zealand Herald) website, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said the legislation was another step on the path towards a smoke-free nation by 2025. Watch the press conference below.


Australia ranks first with labelling

canadian society reportMore than 60 countries now require graphic cigarette package warnings with Australia ranking the highest in terms of progress on labelling, an international report by the Canadian Cancer Society found.

The report ranks 198 countries and territories on the size of their health warnings on cigarette packages, and was released today at the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) being held in Seoul, South Korea from November 12 to 17.

Sri Lanka adopts huge picture warnings

SriLanka warningsSri Lanka has passed regulations that mandate some of the largest picture warnings on cigarette packs in the world.

The warnings will cover 80 per cent of the front and back of packages; the text portion of the warning will be in three languages - Sinhala, Tamil and English.

The regulations also ban the use of misleading descriptions, including 'light', 'mild' 'low', 'extra' and 'ultra'.

Once implemented, Sri Lanka will have among the largest cigarette health warnings in the world, along with Australia at 82.5 percent (75 percent front, 90 percent back), and Uruguay at 80 percent (80 percent front and back).