The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

COP5 parties must adopt taxation and illicit trade measures


At a press conference in Seoul on Friday, the FCA called on countries to fight the global tobacco epidemic by adopting landmark measures on taxation and illicit trade at the upcoming fifth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP5) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The session takes place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 12–17 November 2012, and will comprise representatives from governments (Parties) that have agreed to implement a range of tobacco control measures in the FCTC – from putting graphic warnings on tobacco packages, to banning tobacco advertising, and creating smoke-free spaces.

These Parties are expected to adopt guidelines on implementing tobacco taxes. It is widely accepted that increasing tobacco prices is the most effective measure that governments can take to curb tobacco use, and raising taxes is a step that can be implemented repeatedly.

By curbing tobacco use, taxes reduce tobacco-related death and injury, while also raising much-needed revenue for governments. Despite these positive results, many Parties have been slow to increase tobacco taxes for a variety of reasons, including pressure from the tobacco industry, which constantly raises the spectre that higher taxes will result in more smuggling.

“Large tobacco tax increases are imperative if the countries of the world wish to bring the tobacco epidemic under control in coming years,” said FCA Director Laurent Huber at a press conference in Seoul today.

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