The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Tobacco industry challenge continues to delay Sri Lanka's warnings

By Dr. Olcott Gunasekera*
President, Sri Lanka National Federation on Smoking or Health

Sri Lanka's Minister of Health, Hon. Maitripala Sirisena, took a bold step in 2012 by announcing mandatory pictorial health warnings to cover 80 percent of the total area of a packet, package or carton of cigarettes. The effective date of implementation was 12 November 2012, which was later extended to 1 March 2013.

Congratulations new FCA board members!

Congratulations to the three FCA members who will begin terms on the Alliance's Board of Directors in January 2014! They were chosen during the election that ended on 7 Nov.

Fouad Fouad will begin his second term as FCA director for the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) region; Issah Ali will sit as director for the Africa (AFRO) region, and Mônica Andreis will hold an At-Large position.

Long struggle produces tobacco control law in Gabon

A local non-governmental organisation is celebrating after five years of struggle resulted in the Government of Gabon adopting its first tobacco control law in October.

The campaign began when the Mouvement Populaire pour la Santé, with support from WHO, FCA and others, began advocating for the West African nation to ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Read the full article

Team thwarts tobacco industry interference in Uganda

A specially trained team of tobacco control advocates has prevented the tobacco industry from getting a suggested tobacco tax increase in Uganda reduced.

The Ministry of Finance had proposed increasing Uganda’s excise tax duty on cigarettes by 45.5 percent in the 2013-14 budget. When the matter was discussed in Parliament’s Finance Committee, the industry submitted a petition calling for an increase of just 11.4 percent.

Read the full article

Tobacco control emerges at UN development talks

The devastation caused by the tobacco epidemic was highlighted in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September

Read the full article.

Palau bans sale of duty-free tobacco

Palau has passed a number of regulations that will make tobacco more expensive in the country from 1 January 2014.

In the New Year the Pacific Island nation will join Nepal and Romania as countries that completely ban the sale of duty-free tobacco.

Read the full article.

Lack of political will, awareness revealed in African shadow reports

The cover of the 2012 shadow report of Tanzania's implementation of the WHO FCTCA lack of political will to implement tobacco control and little awareness of existing laws among the general public are common findings of 2012 shadow reports of African governments’ performances in implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Supported by FCA, civil society organisations analysed the implementation of the FCTC, the world’s only modern-day public health treaty. Other challenges they identified include:

Long struggle produces tobacco control law in Gabon

A local non-governmental organisation is celebrating after five years of struggle resulted in the Government of Gabon adopting its first tobacco control law in October.

The campaign began when the Mouvement Populaire pour la Santé, with support from WHO, FCA and others, began advocating for the West African nation to ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). It succeeded on 20 February 2009, when Gabon became a Party to the treaty.

Monitoring team thwarts tobacco industry interference in Uganda

A specially trained team of tobacco control advocates has prevented the tobacco industry from getting a suggested tobacco tax increase in Uganda reduced.

The Ministry of Finance had proposed increasing Uganda’s excise tax duty on cigarettes by 45.5 percent in the 2013-14 budget. When the matter was discussed in Parliament’s Finance Committee, the industry submitted a petition calling for an increase of just 11.4 percent.

So many deaths, so little money

Tobacco use kills six million people each year. Sadly, resources spent on tobacco control are in no way commensurate with the death and disability caused by this product.

Since negotiations on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) started in 1999, funding for global health has climbed from US$9.9 billion to $28.1 billion in 2012 (measured in 2010 US dollars). Virtually none of this money has gone to tobacco control: countries spend from $0.001 to $1.00 per person annually on FCTC implementation, and the annual budget of the FCTC Secretariat is less than $10 million.