‘Hot spots’ FCA is watching this year

05 Feb 2015

Many hot spots indicate challenges from the tobacco industry to governments’ attempts to protect public health by implementing tobacco control measures. These occur at the national level (in courts) as well as in the international arena.


The government faces a challenge from Philip Morris Asia to its plain packaging of tobacco products. The company claims the law violates an investment agreement between Hong Kong (its base) and Australia. Another challenge has been launched at the World Trade Organization. 

In 2012, the tobacco industry took the government to the High Court but lost that challenge. Read more.

A challenge from the National Confederation of Industries has delayed the coming into force of a ban on tobacco additives. It was supposed to apply from September, 2013. Read our article

Burkina Faso
The government is expected to pass regulations requiring pictorial health warnings. 

The tobacco industry is fighting a proposed tobacco control law. 

A stricter ban on tobacco advertising is being considered. Positive developments in 2014 included a ban on smoking in indoor public places in Beijing and publication of draft regulations for a nationwide public smoking ban. 

Côte d’Ivoire 
A new tobacco control bill is expected this year. 

Philip Morris International is challenging a ban on its Be Marlboro campaign. Authorities outlawed it for illegally encouraging young people, ages 14-21, to smoke. 

Read about the efforts to end the Be Marlboro campaign.

The new central government has introduced tobacco control measures – such as tobacco tax increases – and promised more, including a ban on selling single cigarettes. Individual states are also implementing various measures. What will this year bring?

Indonesia is one of the largest countries that is not yet a Party to the FCTC. There have been some positive steps in the country recently, however. In 2014, graphic health warnings became mandatory on tobacco packages. In January 2015, the excise tax on tobacco increased 8.7 percent. Is FCTC accession next?

Ireland, Republic of
The tobacco industry launched a strong misinformation campaign after the government started a process to introduce plain packaging. 

Read our article

Nigeria and Uganda 
Intense debates continue in both countries over proposed tobacco control legislation. 

Read our article about how advocates are countering tobacco industry interference in Uganda.

After putting in place various TC measures in recent years, President Putin has drawn the line at taxes and announced that no significant changes will be made in tax rates before 2018. Advocates, however, will continue pushing for increasing tobacco prices through tax increases, which is recognised as one of the most effective tobacco control measures. 

The government is expected to pass regulations requiring pictorial health warnings. 

South Africa
Here also the government is expected to pass regulations requiring pictorial health warnings. 

The current 1980s tobacco control law is being revised and, as always, the tobacco industry is fighting against tougher measures. 

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
This controversial free-trade deal among 12 countries of the Pacific Rim is expected to be signed in 2015. Read our article

United Kingdom 
In January 2015 the Health Ministry announced it would introduce a plain packaging bill in the House of Commons before the May general election. 

Read the press release from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

UN Headquarters 
This will be the focus for work on the development goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. We are working to ensure that FCTC implementation is included in the new goals. 

Read more

The government continues to fight a trade dispute with Philip Morris International at the World Bank. 

Read our article

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