$ for FCTC at country level vital for achieving SDGs

09 Nov 2016

The needs assessment exercise undertaken by the FCTC Convention Secretariat during 2009-2015 reveals that Parties most frequently reported lack of human and financial resources to implement the Treaty (WHO Framework Convention Secretariat. FCTC/COP/7/4). The available resources are reported to be insufficient, while Parties find it hard and challenging to access longterm and sustainable financing for enhanced implementation of the Convention (WHO Framework Convention Secretariat. FCTC/ COP/7/17).

With this backdrop, a group of tobacco control advocates, including public health researchers, government officials, lawyers and economists, attended the Emerging Leaders Think Tank Seminar organised by the World Heart Federation and held 13-18 March 2016 in Bangalore, India., They proposed to update the country-level information on the cost of action (FCTC implementation) and the cost of inaction (the current costs of the tobacco epidemic).

The overarching goal of the proposed project is to help policymakers establish sustainable mechanisms to fund and accelerate comprehensive implementation of the FCTC. The project aims to build a straightforward and user-friendly tool to help policy-makers from Ministries of Finance and Health, as well as international organizations working for in-country accelerated FCTC implementation, and to enable civil society to advocate more effectively for investment in tobacco control.

The tool gives an overview of country-specific tobacco control costs and financing sources to support FCTC implementation, It presents the current costs of implementing the four best buy tobacco control measures (tobacco tax increases, smoke-free policies, package warnings, and advertising bans) in all low- and middle-income countries. This is the first time that the WHO costing tool has been updated since its publication in 2011. The project focuses on tobacco taxes, which not only decrease smoking rates and smoking-attributable non-communicable diseases, but also can be used to finance FCTC implementation in country to gain further public health benefits. It is intended to highlight tobacco tax revenue as a potential financing source for FCTC implementation and identify countries that, due to high cigarette affordability, have particular potential to save lives and generate additional financial resources through tobacco tax increases.

The revised estimates (2016) for implementation of the four best buys indicate that1 estimated funds needed to implement the four FCTC measures rose slightly from US$ 0.11 per capita per year in 2011 to US$ 0.14 per capita per year in 2016. The cost is still minuscule compared to what countries collect in tobacco tax revenue. In 2014, the per capita tobacco tax revenue in low-income countries amounted to US$ 7.43, while in middle-income countries the revenue was US$ 37.44 per capita. A preliminary analysis of the other key indicators will be presented at the lunchtime seminar on “WHO FCTC: A powerful tool for promoting the implementation and financing of sustainable development goals” to be held on Wednesday 9 November 2016. Further details on the study and its outcomes are available at the World Heard Federation (WHF) Exhibition Booth.

We request COP7 delegates to guide us with feedback and suggestions on the study, since, based on the above updated costs, we plan to draft and discuss factsheets for selected countries during the COP7 here in Delhi, with experts and country delegates during the session.. The team also plans to pilot test the tool and the factsheets in selected countries.

Mr. Amit Yadav (India), Dr. Anna Kontsevaya (Russia), Dr. Ce Shang (USA), Dr. Adrian Pana (Romania), Dr. Fabian B. Lewis (Jamaica), Mr. Michal Stoklosa (USA), and Atty. Irene Reyes (Philippines), Dr. Eduardo Bianco (Uruguay), Ms. Alice Grainger Gasser (Switzerland) All authors attended the World Heart Federation (WHF), Emerging Leaders Think Tank Seminar held in Bangalore, India, in March 2016. This research project is funded by WHF.


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