The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

2012 in pictures


Another busy year for tobacco control and the FCA. Among the usual tobacco control challenges, we also experienced many successes!

We've created an image slideshow to highlight these moments. Those bright spots included:

  • INB5 negotiations on an Illicit Trade Protocol on Tobacco Products (ITP) produced a draft protocol to fight the global trade in illicit tobacco;
  • World No Tobacco Day took on Big Tobacco;
  • Australia adopted plain packaging, and
  • COP5 adopted the ITP and agreed to create working groups on liability and on sustainable measures to strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC.

Watch the image slideshow above to view more highlights from this year. Click on the image for more information.

Next steps to improving FCTC implementation

Among all outcomes of the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP5) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), one stands out: creation of a working group on sustainable measures to strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC.

For the first time, Parties are expected to meet between sessions of the COP to discuss existing obstacles to implementing FCTC measures, rather than to develop guidelines or guiding principles on specific tobacco control interventions.

Thank you for supporting FCA at COP5!

Francis Luk Laura COP5FCA staff and members meet during COP5.By FCA Chair Paula Johns

I would like to extend our thanks to all those who contributed to the the vital work of FCA at COP5. Your hard work and support helped achieve a number of favorable outcomes, including:

COP5: Tobacco control emerged as 'whole of government' issue

Analysis by FCA policy team

Looking back at COP5, what is important to see is that there was incremental but meaningful progress on the central challenge of getting a “whole of government” commitment to tobacco control. In other words: the FCTC is starting to receive attention from government officials beyond tobacco control specialists in ministries of health.

Tobacco control advocates should in particular celebrate the fact that finance ministries from around the world came to the Working Group on Article 6 (price and tax measures), and then to the COP, were exposed to all the arguments for stronger tobacco control, and reached consensus on quite strong recommendations about the critical role of tobacco taxation.

Cigarette butt waste needs global attention

Among other important obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Article 18 obligates Parties to protect the environment and people’s health in relation to agriculture and manufacturing of tobacco products within their countries.

In addition, the environmental impacts of cigarette butt waste are increasingly being recognised as needing global attention.

Tracking Illicit Trade in Southeast Asia

The trade in illicit cigarettes in Southeast Asia puts populations at risk for greater smoking.

A collaborative partnership among Duke University’s Program on Global Health and Technology Access, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance and the American Cancer Society engaged investigators in the region in taking measure of illicit trade in tobacco using a common methodology.

COP5: strong outcomes for implementation of global tobacco control

COP5-Day1-MargaretChan-Reception Geoff Fong webWHO Director-General Margaret Chan speaks on Opening Day. (c) Geoffrey Fong.By FCA Policy & Advocacy Director Francis Thompson

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) held its fifth session in Seoul, Korea, 12-17 November 2012. There were a number of important developments, both in adopting new policy guidance for the 176 Parties to the FCTC and in discussing how to speed up implementation.

On the policy side, the highest-profile decision was the adoption of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade (commonly referred to as the ITP). This new treaty, which has been under formal negotiation since 2008, will come into force once it has been ratified by 40 Parties, a process which may take several years. A comparatively small amount of money ($350,000) was set aside in the 2014-15 budget for preparing the first Meeting of the Parties to the ITP, with the Convention Secretariat being mandated to raise further money to prepare implementation.

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.