The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control goes into force

Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh today recognized the coming into force of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world's first modern-day public health treaty, by confirming that Canada will continue to play a leadership role in its implementation.

"I take great pride in saying that Canada's strong legislation and regulations are internationally recognized and respected, and in fact, have inspired many of the Articles of the Convention," said Minister Dosanjh. "We will continue with this tradition by advancing efforts globally to implement and manage the Convention."

The FCTC, which comes into force February 27, is designed to protect present and future generations from the health, social, environmental and economic consequences of consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke by strengthening tobacco control initiatives around the world.

On November 26, 2004, Canada ratified the Convention. Canada is proud to have been among the first 40 ratifications necessary to bring the Convention into force.

The FCTC is consistent with and advances Canada's domestic efforts, which are guided by the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS). The Strategy includes a combination of tobacco control efforts in protection, prevention and cessation and harm reduction initiatives, including mass media campaign support for the Strategy's objectives.

Tobacco use is the world's leading cause of preventable illness, disability, and premature death. Globally, 4.9 million people die each year from tobacco-related illnesses, including 45,000 Canadians.

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Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a World Health Organization led international public health treaty. The objective of the Convention is to protect present and future generations from the health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, through an international framework of collective measures for tobacco control.

The Convention was adopted by the World Health Assembly on May 21, 2003 and was opened for signature on June 16, 2003. Canada signed the Convention on July 15, 2003. States who sign and ratify the Convention will be expected to implement comprehensive tobacco control strategies and programs, including carrying out commitments and obligations in such areas as tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, health warnings on tobacco packaging, illicit trade, product regulation and prevention and cessation programs.

Canada ratified the Convention on November 26, 2004. Canada is proud to have been among the first 40 ratifications necessary to bring the Convention into force. Canada, along with other countries that have ratified the treaty will become part of the Conference of Parties (COP), the body that will govern the FCTC. The Convention comes into force on February 27, 2005.

Highlights of the FCTC include:

  • a requirement to place warnings covering at least 30% , and ideally 50% of the principle display areas on tobacco packaging;
  • a comprehensive ban or restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
  • protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and other public places as appropriate;
  • a recognition that tax and price measures are an effective means of reducing consumption;
  • provisions on education, awareness-raising, cessation, and treatment programs; and a series of measures to prevent and combat the illicit trade in tobacco products.

Canada's role

Canada continues to be a leading supporter of the initiative and was one of more than 150 member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) that participated in the 3 years of negotiations to develop the FCTC. The Canadian delegation for these meetings was led by Health Canada and Foreign Affairs and included representatives from the following departments: Justice, the Solicitor General, Finance, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as the provincial and territorial governments and non-governmental organizations.

Canada's international tobacco control efforts continue to be directed to supporting and strengthening the tobacco control activities of developing countries and the work of international organizations, including the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization.

Relevant Links

Status of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Background on the FCTC

Need more information? For more information, please visit Health Canada's Tobacco Control Website

For further information:
Media Inquiries: Paul Duchesne, Health Canada, (613) 954-4807;
Adèle Blanchard, Office of the Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200;
Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991;

OTTAWA, Feb. 25 /CNW Telbec/


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