The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Indonesian tobacco control regulations a positive step - SEATCA

Concert indonesia july10 anne jones the union CROPPED WebBillboard for a 2010 concert in Indonesia. (c) Anne Jones, The UnionTobacco control regulations recently announced by Indonesia are a move in the right direction but much more needs to be done, said The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) on 23 April.

"It is not a stringent regulation in comparison to the region, but it is certainly moving in the right direction," the organisation said in a statement.

Particularly welcome are announced pictorial health warnings that will cover 40 percent of packages; however, that still leaves Indonesia lagging behind its neighbours in ASEAN, added SEATCA.

Helsinki to Singapore – personal observations on the World Conference

Chris Bostic launching TW FCAChris Bostic launching FCA's shadow report, Tobacco Watch, at the WCTOH. (c) FCA By Chris Bostic
Deputy Director, ASH (US)

I returned from Singapore at the end of March fired up.

The 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health had accomplished its main goal – to reinvigorate its constituency. This is vital, since in spite of our collective efforts since 1967 there are more smokers, more deaths and more children being addicted in 2012.

Even the 36 hours of travel to get home could not dampen my determination, and it gave me ample time to reflect on how this conference was a bit different than the previous ones in Helsinki and Washington (I missed Mumbai).

The four main aspects of the conference that stood out for me were:

Agreement on illicit trade protocol protects public health

Opening plenary 290312 TihOpening discussions at INB5 on 29 March.Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on Wednesday agreed on a draft protocol to fight the global trade in illicit tobacco. 

The agreement maintains the essential barrier between public health and the tobacco industry, and paves the way for governments to ratchet up the fight against the tobacco epidemic by raising taxes.

Preparedness and perseverance secure strong tobacco control law in Costa Rica

CostaRica Pres signs lawCosta Rican President, Laura Chinchilla (centre), signs the tobacco control law on 22 March. (c) RENATABy Patricia Sosa, Director, Latin America programs, CTFK

On 22 March 2012, President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica signed into law comprehensive tobacco control legislation, including strong smoke-free policies, advertising and marketing bans, pictorial warning labels and a higher tobacco tax.

Tobacco control legislation was first introduced into Costa Rica's National Assembly in 2009. At that time, the bill contained the strongest tobacco control language to date in Latin America.

UN chiefs instruct country offices to focus on NCDs

NCDalliance report coverBriefing paper prepared by FCA and NCD Alliance in 2011.WHO Director-General and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark have issued a joint letter instructing UN country offices to ensure that action to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) features in their work, and that the agencies support countries' efforts to prioritise NCDs.

FCA welcomes this letter and stands ready to support the inclusion of NCDs, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and tobacco control in comprehensive national health and development strategies and plans.

Latest pictures: March - April 2012

Every month Framework Convention Alliance members work hard in the fight for global tobacco control.

View the slideshow to see what our members got up to during March and April 2012.

Control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs): Niger passes to action

Executive Secretary/SOS Tabagisme-Niger

Responsible for more than 63 percent of deaths worldwide and for one-half of global cases of disability, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) result in huge costs to families and health systems.

Like other countries, Niger pays a heavy price to care for the victims of NCDs. According to the World Health Organization (IARC Global study, 1998), cancer incidence in Niger was 2,688 in 1998 and is currently estimated at 8,000 new cases per year. The care of cancer victims represents most of the costs of medical evacuation (1.5 billion CFA [$US1.5 million] per year on average).

Declaration of the Latin American and Caribbean delegation to WCTOH 2012

24 March 2012

"... we call on all governments to take the following steps:
•         To those who have not yet done so (Argentina, El Salvador, Cuba, and Dominican Republic) ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
•         For those who have ratified we urge you to apply public policies in line with the WHO FCTC and other international standards to guarantee the welfare and health of their countries.
•         We urge all governments to adopt policies for the implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC ensuring the exclusion of the tobacco industry from the negotiation of tobacco control policies, and ensure transparency and mechanisms for anti-corruption policies.

Read in full:

Brazil bans flavoured tobacco

Brazil flavours banned 250312Spicy Mix (blue) and Citrus Mix (yellow) flavoured tobacco in Brazil. (c) FCA.In a world’s first, Brazil has banned all flavours and additives in tobacco products throughout the country because they lure many young people into starting to smoke.

The new law requires the banning of all flavours, such as menthol, honey, cherry, tutti-frutti and chocolate, plus additives like ammonia, sweeteners, colours, vitamins and essential fatty acids.

New Bloomberg funding rightly targets tobacco control ‘on the ground’

By FCA Director Laurent Huber

The $220 million in funding for global tobacco control announced Thursday by Michael Bloomberg is incredibly important. It focuses on low and middle-income countries, which have become centres of the tobacco epidemic, and targets of the voracious tobacco industry.

These countries are also increasingly feeling the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which include cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases and diabetes, for which tobacco use is the main risk factor. World leaders last year agreed on accelerated implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as a major step in the fight to prevent these killer diseases.