The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Canada to boost package warnings – inside and out

One of the new warnings covering 75 per cent of the cigarette package. © Health Canada

The Canadian Government has approved new regulations that will increase the size of health warnings on packages of cigarettes and little cigars from 50 to 75 per cent of the back and front surfaces. 

All packages will also include full-colour, picture-based messages inside the package, making Canada the only country to require messages on the interior and exterior.

European Union provides €5.2 million for tobacco control

The European Commission (EC) made a significant contribution to global tobacco control Thursday, announcing a €5.2 million (US$7 million) grant to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The money will be used mainly for needs assessments in low and middle-income countries "to help these countries to fully implement the FCTC and to better integrate tobacco control policies into their national health programmes and strategies", according to an EC news release.

Australian graphic warnings to lead the way

Smoking emphysemaOne of Australia’s new proposed graphic health warnings. © Australian governmentThe Australian Government is taking another huge step in cutting the country’s smoking rates by releasing its proposed new graphic health warnings for tobacco products.

The new warnings are scheduled to come into effect on 1 July 2012, when the county’s plain packaging requirements are set to come into effect.

On 17 September 2011, the Australian Government released a consultation paper on the proposed new health warnings.  

FCA backs Philippines against tobacco industry

FCA has congratulated the Government of the Philippines for its recent tobacco control (TC) initiatives and offered support in combating tobacco industry interference in those measures.

In its letter, FCA highlights the number of challenges the industry has launched against TC programmes, including a smoking ban in Metro Manila. “It is indeed most alarming how a number of pending cases utilise your own statute, Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act, in restraining the execution of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which the Philippines ratified in 2005.”

NCD Summit: encouraging outcomes

By FCA Director Laurent Huber

I had the privilege of attending the UN Summit this week, where I listened to heads of state and high-level government representatives make statements recognising the need for action on NCDs and their risk factors – many of which specified tobacco and the FCTC.

Again and again we heard that NCDs are a development issue that needs a multi-sector, whole of government approach.

Australia contributes A$700,000 to the FCTC

The Australian Government again demonstrated its leadership in global tobacco control Tuesday, announcing a grant of A$700,000 to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon shakes hands with Haik Nikogosian of the Framework Convention Secretariat at the UN's NCD SummitAustralian Health Minister Nicola Roxon shakes hands with Haik Nikogosian of the Framework Convention Secretariat at the UN's NCD Summit in New York on Tuesday. Watching are (left-right) FCA board member Paula Johns, FCA Advocacy and Policy Director Francis Thompson and FCA Director Laurent Huber (c) FCA

At the UN High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York, Health Minister Nicola Roxon said that $400,000 of the grant will go to a working group created to produce guidelines on tobacco taxes. 

Countries ban smoking in vehicles with children

Laws prohibiting smoking in vehicles carrying children have been adopted in South Africa, Mauritius, Bahrain, Puerto Rico and in provincial or state governments in the US, Canada and Australia.

The laws help protect children from exposure to very high levels of tobacco smoke that can cause increased health risks like bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, ear infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Status of parties’ payments for FCTC released

The Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) recently published the status of voluntary assessed contributions (VACs) provided by Parties to the FCTC budget.

The document provides an overview of payments made by individual Parties from 2006 until 2011 to finance the work of the Secretariat.

MPs pass Australia's plain packaging bill

An example of Australia's proposed plain packaging. Copyright Government of Australia.

Australian MPs on Wednesday approved legislation that would require plain packaging on tobacco products by 2012. The bill now goes to the Senate for reading. 

The legislation, the first of its kind in the world, forbids branding, logos, symbols and images on packaging and on cigarettes.

The bill and an explanatory memorandum acknowledge Australia's obligations as a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

First EMRO smoking cessation conference

Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) members recently held the first regional conference about smoking cessation in Jordan.

The conference is the first of its kind in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) region, and addressed guidelines to Article 14 (cessation) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which were adopted during last year’s fourth Conference of the Parties (COP4) in Uruguay.