The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Australia contributes A$700,000 to the FCTC

The Australian Government again demonstrated its leadership in global tobacco control Tuesday, announcing a grant of A$700,000 to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon shakes hands with Haik Nikogosian of the Framework Convention Secretariat at the UN's NCD SummitAustralian Health Minister Nicola Roxon shakes hands with Haik Nikogosian of the Framework Convention Secretariat at the UN's NCD Summit in New York on Tuesday. Watching are (left-right) FCA board member Paula Johns, FCA Advocacy and Policy Director Francis Thompson and FCA Director Laurent Huber (c) FCA

At the UN High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York, Health Minister Nicola Roxon said that $400,000 of the grant will go to a working group created to produce guidelines on tobacco taxes. 

The money announced Tuesday is in addition to an annual assessment billed to Australia and all 174 Parties to the FCTC, and is the Australian Government’s second extra-budgetary contribution in 2011.

It is widely accepted that increasing the price of tobacco products is the most effective way to reduce tobacco consumption and discourage potential young smokers. Yet many governments tax tobacco below the rate recommended by the World Health Organization.

A one percent increase in current tobacco tax rates would generate at least US$1 billion in revenue, according to conservative estimates.

The remaining money announced Tuesday will be used to:

  • support the use of materials (such as health warnings and social marketing) in developing countries ($200,000);
  • improve reporting by Parties on their FCTC commitments ($50,000);
  • support the establishment of an FCTC database of best practices ($50,000).

In April, Australia made an extra-budgetary contribution of $77,000 to finance FCTC needs' assessments in Pacific Island countries.

In August, the country’s lower house of parliament approved plain packaging of tobacco products, despite threats of legal action from the tobacco industry. When the bill becomes law, Australia will be the first country in the world to implement such a measure.

Press release from Australian NGOs

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