The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

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.

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.