People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
African tobacco control groups have denounced a partnership between the Customs administration in Togo and British American Tobacco (BAT).
In a press release the organisations - the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA), Alliance Nationale des Consommateurs et de l’Environnement (ANCE-Togo) and the Journalists Network for Tobacco Control in Togo
(REJAT-Togo) - called on the Government of Togo to cancel the agreement, signed 28 April 2011.
The groups pointed out that the deal violates article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Togo ratified the international tobacco control treaty in 2005.
According to FCTC Article 5.3, "In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law".
Mr. Ebeh Kodjo Fabrice, Executive Secretary of the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA), said he was "deeply shocked and outraged by this turn of events by the Togolese government after the ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the adoption of the law on production, marketing and consumption of tobacco and its derivatives in Togo by the National Assembly on December 29, 2010".