People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
Parties to international meeting must reverse trend expected to result in 1 billion tobacco-related deaths by adopting measures on taxation, illicit trade
SEOUL, November 9, 2012 – The 176 Parties to the global tobacco control convention must not miss next week’s opportunity to fight the devastation wrought by the global tobacco epidemic, and should adopt landmark measures on taxation and illicit trade, says the civil society grouping Framework Convention Alliance (FCA).
Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meet for their fifth session (COP5) in Seoul, 12-17 November. They represent governments 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.
Tobacco use killed 100 million people in the 20th century, and is expected to claim 1 billion victims this century, unless current trends change.
Parties at COP5 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 COP 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.
“In fact, the level of corruption in a country is a better predictor of the illicit tobacco trade than the level of tobacco taxes,” said FCA Director Laurent Huber.
“Large tobacco tax increases are imperative if the countries of the world wish to bring the tobacco epidemic under control in coming years,” Huber added.
The FCTC Parties are also expected to approve the draft Protocol on the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (ITP). It will lead to more control of the legal tobacco trade (through licensing, record keeping, due diligence, tracing, etc), enhance cooperation between countries, and facilitate investigations.
“We are excited that after years of discussions, this protocol should finally be adopted at COP5,” said Huber. “The illicit trade in tobacco feeds the worldwide tobacco epidemic by flooding markets with cheap products and keeping tobacco taxes low.”
The ITP will come into effect 90 days after it has been ratified by 40 Parties to the FCTC.
Adoption of the protocol is just the first step, Huber added. “It is essential that FCTC Parties begin at COP5 to plan capacity building and technical assistance for low-resource countries on items such as the tracking and tracing of tobacco products.”
The FCTC has become one of the most widely accepted international conventions. It now has 176 Parties, representing nearly 90 percent of the world’s population.
A global alliance, FCA represents more than 300 members in over 100 countries.
- Fact sheet: Taxation and Price: Countering Industry Claims
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- Les Parties participant aux réunions internationales doivent renverser la tendance attendue susceptible de générer 1 milliard de décès liés au tabac. Pour ce faire, elles doivent adopter des mesures sur la taxation et le commerce illicite
- Mediante la adopción de medidas sobre impuestos y las referentes al comercio ilícito, las Partes que asisten a la reunión internacional deben revertir la tendencia que podría resultar en 1 mil millones de muertes relacionadas con el tabaquismo
- Стороны международной встречи должны принять и осуществлять меры в области налогообложения и борьбы с незаконной торговлей табачными изделиями, чтобы переломить тенденцию, которая может привести к 1 миллиарду смертей, обусловленных употреблением табака
- 10억명에 이르는 담배로 인한 사망을 야기시킬 것으로 예상되는 추세를 바꿔 놓기 위해 회의 당사국들은 과세와 불법 거래에 대한 방안을 채택해야 한다
- يجب على أطراف الاجتماع الدولي عكس اتجاه الوفيات الناجمة عن التبغ و المتوقع أن تسفر عن 1 مليار ضحية بحلول اتخاذ التدابير بشأن الضرائب، والتجارة غير المشروعة