The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Approve Working Group on sustainable implementation

Bulletin 122 frontThe following is from the front page of FCA's final Bulletin (#122) at COP5. The proposed Working Group was adopted in the final plenary.

The latest draft of a proposed Working Group on strengthening FCTC sustainable implementation, that was basically agreed in committee B last night, should be adopted in plenary this morning.

Implementation of the FCTC has not kept up with the magnitude of the tobacco epidemic. It has been almost eight years since the Convention entered into force, but while a number of Parties have successfully implemented elements of the FCTC , many others face several challenges when it comes to turning the Convention's text into effective tobacco control policies on the ground.

COP5 in pictures

Take a look at all the highlights from the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP5) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, 12–17 November 2012.

The FCA was there as FCTC Parties stood firm against relentless efforts by the tobacco industry to steer them away from adopting measures that would tackle the tobacco epidemic. Delegates also took last-minute decisions that will spare millions of people globally from death due to tobacco use.

Exposed – industry reps as COP5 delegates

When the COP broke into committees A & B this week, the public was excluded to keep out the tobacco industry. However, was the industry truly excluded?

Here is a quick audit of the industry’s interference at COP 5.

Industry’s dire warnings deconstructed

by Grieve Chelwa, PhD Candidate, University of Cape Town

In late October 2012, a study conducted by NKC Independent Economists was released that attempts to measure the primary elements of the tobacco value chain in 15 African countries that are part of the COME SA/SADC /SACU * regional blocs. The study was commissioned by the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (TISA), a body representing the tobacco industry in the region.

The study’s release coincides with the Fifth Conference of Parties (COP 5) in South Korea and is most likely meant to influence deliberations around Articles 17 and 18 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Articles 17 and 18 speak to issues of alternative livelihoods and the protection of the health of workers engaged in the growing and processing of tobacco.

The aim of this short write-up is to critically engage with some of the findings of the TISA study, as well as to question the methods used by the study.

Travel cuts threaten poor countries with more tobacco exposure

The world’s poorest countries could face more exposure to unrestricted tobacco use and promotion if proposed funding cuts within the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) go ahead.

The FCTC is considering cutting its funding for delegates from poorer countries to attend international meetings. These cuts (supported by the EU, Canada and Australia) will threaten the participation of over 80 countries in future FCTC meetings like the Conference of the Parties (COPs).

176 Parties to the FCTC, not 27

(taken from Thursday's FCA COP5 Bulletin)

The development of guidelines for implementation of Article 6 is one of the most important items on the agenda of COP5. Tax increases are the most effective mechanism to reduce tobacco consumption and simultaneously finance tobacco control and public health activities.

Article 6 of the Treaty recommends: “implementing tax policies and, where appropriate, price policies, on tobacco products so as to contribute to the health objectives aimed at reducing tobacco consumption”. The treaty is clear: the objective is health, by reducing tobacco consumption.

While the treaty text sets out the principles, the guidelines are required to assist Parties in the implementation of effective systems.

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.

COP5 parties must adopt taxation and illicit trade measures


At a press conference in Seoul on Friday, the FCA called on countries to fight the global tobacco epidemic by adopting landmark measures on taxation and illicit trade at the upcoming fifth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP5) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The session takes place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 12–17 November 2012, and will comprise representatives from governments (Parties) that have agreed to implement a range of tobacco control measures in the FCTC – from putting graphic warnings on tobacco packages, to banning tobacco advertising, and creating smoke-free spaces.

Success! Seychelles approves graphic package warnings

The Seychelles government has approved new graphic health warnings on tobacco packages, which must cover at least 50 per cent of the package's front and back.

The regulation was formally published in the Official Gazette on 1 October 2012.

Governments must challenge Big Tobacco

This week, a European association of tobacco growers called UNITAB will be holding their 33rd Congress in Budapest, Hungary. This is one of several tobacco growers’ association events this year organised to attempt to undermine a lifesaving global public health treaty, which could save 200 million lives if fully implemented by 2050.

Corporate Accountability International (CAI) is calling on the Hungarian government and governments around the world to stand strong in their efforts to address the tobacco epidemic and condemn this global misinformation campaign. To learn more, read the full CAI press release.