The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

South-East Asia takes stock of FCTC implementation

By Dr Mira Aghi

In late July, countries in WHO's South-East Asia region gathered to review progress towards fulfilling their obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and to identify emerging threats and opportunities.

At the gathering in New Delhi, 23-26 July, Parties discussed in detail various time-bound commitments, including smoke-free spaces, tobacco package warnings and bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

NCDs Mechanism needs to reflect the WHO FCTC: spread the word!

You might recall the positive outcomes of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May regarding non-communicable diseases* (NCDs). At that time, countries approved ambitious targets, such as cutting tobacco use by 30 percent by 2025. They also adopted a clear road map to do so – the NCD Global Action Plan, which calls for accelerated implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Victory for public health still elusive in Trans-Pacific trade deal

By Chris Bostic
Deputy Director for Policy, ASH (US)

For those concerned about the conflict between trade and tobacco control, negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) have been a key battleground over the past several years. That fight is nearing its end, as negotiators rush to find common ground on myriad disagreements in order to finalize the treaty by the end of this year. One of the questions remaining is whether to treat tobacco as the unique product that it is.

Pushing tobacco control up the list of development priorities

FCA and its members continue promoting the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in discussions on the next set of development priorities and ahead of key events in September at the United Nations General Assembly.

Tobacco kills six million people a year and poses an unprecedented threat to health and development globally. Unfortunately, effective tobacco control and implementation of the FCTC remain under-resourced.

VOTE! 8th FCA General Assembly election

Nominations opened on 1 August for the 8th FCA General Assembly election. Voting is open to all organisations that are members of the Framework Convention Alliance. Votes close Thursday, November 7, 2013, 11:59EST.

The election will decide three posts on the FCA Board of Directors:

• One Representative from the AFRO region, whose term will run from 1 Jan 2014 through 31 Dec 2016.
• One Representative from the EMRO region (1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2016); and
• One At-Large Board member, a position that is elected independently of any regional considerations (1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2016).

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."

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.

Ukraine legislation already reducing smoking

 Smoking rates have decreased in Ukraine since the country introduced smoke free legislation six months ago, the Ukraine State Statistics Department has found.


Reported in a Regional Advocacy Centre “LIFE” press release, the department found that cigarette production during January to April 2013 was 91.2% of the same period in 2012. Cigarette sales during December 2012 to April 2013 also decreased by 2.5 billion cigarettes, or 10% from the same period the previous year.

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.