People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- Published on 23 November 2011
A year ago, the Brazilian agency that regulates tobacco, ANVISA, proposed restrictions on tobacco additives and advertising at point of sale (POS). That provoked the tobacco industry into action. It organised groups including bar and restaurant associations to protest the proposals via mass media campaigns.
Soon after, the Ministry of Finance proposed to fast-track a bill on price and tax measures. Seeing an opportunity, the industry used its influence with members of Congress to add amendments to the Finance bill that would weaken the ANVISA regulations, along with other tobacco control measures.
In the following interview, ACT-Brazil Director Paula Johns, a member of the FCA Board, describes the current situation.
- Published on 21 November 2011
The Australian Parliament on Monday passed legislation that will make that country the first in the world to require plain packaging of tobacco products.
“Today, one of the most momentous public health measures in Australia’s history has been delivered by the Australian Parliament — legislation requiring the plain packaging of tobacco products,” said Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
“Plain packaging means that the glamour is gone from smoking and cigarettes are now exposed for what they are: killer products that destroy thousands of Australian families," she added.
- Published on 17 November 2011
Tobacco control and human rights are “not in conflict but are mutually reinforcing”, according to an article published in the International Journal of Law in Context.
The article was written by Oscar A. Cabrera and Lawrence O. Gostin. It covers topics such as human rights provisions in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the right to access information, smoke-free places, and bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
"Given the tobacco industry's efforts to capture more consumers in developing countries, states need to intervene to protect the human rights of their citizens against the negative effects that these strategies will have on their health, life and standard of living," write the authors.
- Published on 10 November 2011
Nepal now has some of the largest graphic warnings on tobacco packages in the world, including on smokeless tobacco packages.
The government of the South Asian country passed its tobacco control legislation in May 2011. It includes a ban on smoking in public places and graphic warnings covering 75 per cent of each side of cigarette packages and the packages of other tobacco products.
The other products include gutkha ( a sweetened mixture of chewing tobacco, betel nut and palm nut), khaini (chewing tobacco) and surti (tobacco leaves).
- Published on 07 November 2011
In October, tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) announced it was closing its operations in Uruguay. The company blamed “excessive tax and regulatory measures and expanded smuggled cigarette market that have damaged profitability”.
But the NGO, Centre for Investigation into the Tobacco Epidemic (CIET), says PMI is simply trying to maximise profits. "PMI has lost no market share in our country (they acknowledge having 21.7 per cent of the market, a percentage that nearly doubles the share of previous years), so its profits certainly did not drop," says a CIET media release.
- Published on 05 November 2011
Another gathering of Presidents and Prime Ministers has heard about the benefits of tobacco taxes.
On Thursday the report of US businessmen and philanthropist Bill Gates to leaders of the so-called Group of Twenty (G20) countries – leading global economies – was released. It calls on them to address the current economic crisis and meet their commitments to tackle global development challenges.
Gates also showcases the potential of tobacco taxes to generate additional revenue and cut future health costs.
- Published on 04 November 2011
A group of investigative journalists is reporting that Japan Tobacco International (JTI) was implicated in smuggling carried out by its distributors in a dozen countries.
According to the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, "Mobsters were doing business with the firm's Russian distributorship while shipping tons of illegal cigarettes into Europe. Workers felt endangered. Accused smugglers and criminals ran some of its Middle East partnerships."
- Published on 31 October 2011
For the first time, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution panel has pointed to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as evidence of the scientific merit of a public health regulation.
While the case did not centre on the FCTC or on the question of how trade law relates to it, the decision is seen as significant by legal scholars.
Neither Indonesia nor the United States, the two parties to the dispute, are Parties to the FCTC.
- Published on 26 October 2011
Every month Framework Convention Alliance members work hard in the fight for global tobacco control.
Click an image below to see what our members got up to in October.
- Published on 25 October 2011
Find out how countries can benefit from sustainable funding for health promotion through the latest report from the Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax (SITT).
The report, titled Lessons Learned in Establishing a Health Promotion Fund, also outlines how tobacco taxes can provide the source for a promotion fund, and how to set up and utilise funds effectively.