The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

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.

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?