Under Article 13.1 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), ‘Parties recognize that a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship would reduce the consumption of tobacco products'.
Each Party therefore agrees to undertake a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship within a period of five years after entry into force of the FCTC for that Party (Article 13.2) , unless prevented from doing so by its constitution or constitutional principles, in which case it must apply restrictions on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13.3).
Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship means all forms of commercial communication, recommendation or action , and all forms of contribution to any event, activity or individual, with the aim, effect, or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use either directly or indirectly (Article 1).
Subject to the legal environment and technical means available to it, a Party's ban or restrictions under Article 13.2 or 13.3 must apply to cross-border advertising, promotion and sponsorship originating from its territory. The sovereign right of Parties to ban cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship entering their territory is recognized in Article 13.7. Parties agree to cooperate in the development of technologies and other means necessary to facilitate the elimination of cross-border advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13.7), and to consider the elaboration of a protocol on cross-border advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13.8).
Any forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship that are not or not yet prohibited in accordance with Article 13.2 or 13.3 must, subject to any constitutional constraints, at least meet the requirements set out in Article 13.4 (though Parties are encouraged to implement measures beyond these obligations (Article 13.5). The requirements in Article 13.4 include:
- a prohibition on promotion of a tobacco product by means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions;
- a requirement that health or other appropriate warnings accompany tobacco advertising and, as appropriate, promotion and sponsorship; and for Parties that do not have a comprehensive ban
- a requirement that expenditures by the tobacco industry on advertising, promotion and sponsorship not yet prohibited be disclosed to relevant governmental authorities.