The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Maldives hikes tobacco import taxes

Maldives increased the import duty on cigarettes by 200 per cent on 1 December. The duty on other tobacco products rose 150 per cent.

The increase will be critical in reducing tobacco use and discouraging uptake of the tobacco habit among young people in the South Asian island nation, said Mr. Hassan Mohammed, Head of the Tobacco Control Unit in the Maldivian Ministry of Health.

Congratulations to Luther Terry Award winners

FCA would like to congratulate all of the winners of the Luther Terry Award, FCA members and partners alike:

Distinguished Career

Welcome new FCA Board members!

The election for the Board of Directors of the Framework Convention Alliance ended on 29 November 2011 with the election of three members.

Prof. Elif Dagli was elected to the EURO regional seat, Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo was elected to the WPRO regional seat and Melodie Tilson was elected to the At-Large seat. 

FCTC Needs Assessments in Pacific Island Countries – Palau

Participants at Palau's Fun Run, World No Tobacco Day 2011. (c) Dr Caleb Otto.

Palau recently underwent the third needs assessment (NA) in a Pacific Island country that is Party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Organised by the Framework Convention Secretariat (FCS) and the WHO WPRO Representative Office in Fiji, the assessment took place over three days. The first two days included discussions between FCS representatives and elected and government officials (particularly tobacco control program staff of the Ministry of Health).

Netherlands’ minister denies intensive contact with industry

Anti-smoking groups, MPs and doctors are pressuring the Netherlands’ health minister to clarify her contacts with the tobacco industry.

The pressure stems from a TV documentary called Minister for Tobacco, which features interviews with pro-smoking campaigners, tobacco industry lobbyists and emails sent by the minister Edith Schippers. This showed Schippers had ‘intensive’ contact with the tobacco industry since she became an MP in 2003.

November & December 2011 tobacco control pictures

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

Click an image below to see what our members were busy with in November and December 2011.


 

Ecuador leading Latin America in tobacco taxation

Young people in Ecuador release blue balloons to symbolise clean air at the launch of the Ecuador Breathes Better campaign earlier this year. (c) FES

 Ecuador has become a Latin American leader in tobacco taxation after increasing taxes on 24 November.

Increasing the price of tobacco products is recognised as the most effective way to cut consumption.

The increase is in the form of a specific tax of US$0.08 on each cigarette unit, applied to all brands and packaging, which translates to an average increase of 20 per cent in the final price.

Papua New Guinea Health Minister Fights BAT

The Ministry of Health of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is refusing to attend meetings called by British American Tobacco (BAT) to establish a government-industry committee that would vet all policy and legislative matters concerning tobacco control.

In recent weeks BAT, via PNG’s Minister for Finance & Treasury, proposed to the National Executive Council (NEC) the creation of a government-industry committee.

Violations of ad bans grow in Uruguay/Crece en Uruguay la violación a la prohibición de publicidad

Illegal Point of Sale advertising in Uruguay/Publicidad ilegal en los puntos de venta en Uruguay (c) CIET

Vea la versión española abajo.

A world leader in tobacco control, Uruguay is now seeing an upsurge of illegal advertising at points of sale (POS).

Under Uruguay’s tobacco control law, a POS is the only place where tobacco can be legally advertised. But the law says that advertising must be inside the POS and must be contiguous to a health warning image of the same size and visibility.

A recent forum organised by the NGO Research Centre on the Tobacco Epidemic (CIET) noted that violations of the advertising law are growing. For example, local tobacco company Montepaz had launched an aggressive campaign for its two major brands that includes – using brand elements such as colours and logos - ads outside the point of sale and in various articles of merchandise. These violate the tobacco control law.

Lessons learned fighting the industry in Brazil

ACT-Brazil team in a recent photo. (c) ACT-Br.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.