People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
African tobacco control advocates are calling for tough tobacco regulations as the tobacco epidemic sweeps rapidly through Africa.
The advocates, from 22 African countries, met under the auspices of the Framework Convention Alliance at the African Regional Strategy meeting in Abuja, Nigeria for a workshop on tobacco control.
In a communiqué issued from the meeting, the group said the spread of the tobacco epidemic in Africa was at an alarming stage.
“Its effect is devastating on the health, economy and environment of our continent”,said the group.
The group is calling on the African delegation attending the World Health Organization’s conference of the parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC),in South Africa this November, to adopt the strongest possible measures on Articles 5.3, 11,and 13 of the FCTC.
Article 5.3ensures the protection of public health policies (with respect to tobacco control) from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.
Article 11 says tobacco products’ packaging and labeling must not promote products by false, misleading or deceptive means or in a way that creates an erroneous impression about tobacco’s health effects.
Article13 encourages a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship tohelp reduce tobacco product consumption.
The group also urges all African governments that have not ratified the FCTC to do so immediately, and those that have ratified to quickly domesticate the treaty to avoid more suffering and tobacco-related deaths.
In a renewed effort, the group also endorsed the African Tobacco Control Alliance as an umbrella body to harmonize non-governmental organization tobacco control efforts in Africa.
Download Article 5.3: Protection of tobacco control policy
Download Article 11: Packaging and labeling of tobacco products http://www.fctc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=142&Itemid=166
Download Article 13: Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship