Publication of the fourth issue of the Spotlight on the FCTC
The Smokefree Partnership published in January 2009 the fourth issue of the Spotlight on the FCTC. This issue focuses on the European Commission proposal to amend EU Directives on the rates and structure of taxes on manufactured cigarettes.
This edition of the Spotlight looks at the background to the proposals, the legislative procedure that will be followed at EU level and, most importantly, why tobacco taxation is one of the most effective and efficient methods to reduce smoking rates. Smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable death in the EU, with 650.000 smoking-related deaths each year. The World Bank argues that, on economic grounds alone, tobacco should be controlled, and estimates that when all costs of tobacco around the world are subtracted from all benefits, the net result is a global economic loss of US$200 billion each year. Furthermore, the cost to the EU of tobacco-related disease is estimated at €100 billion – 1% of the EU’s GDP, a sum almost equivalent to the entire EU budget.
The Spotlight is available in English, French, German, Polish, Slovakian and Spanish.
To view the full document please visit the Smokefree Partnership website
FCTC: Outcome of COP3
FCTC Conference of the Parties, Durban, South Africa, 17-22 November 2008
Overall, it was a very successful week. The COP adopted very strong guidelines on Articles 5.3 (protection of public health policy with respect to tobacco control from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry), 11 (packaging and labelling) and 13 (advertising, promotion and sponsorship). The challenge is now for us as civil society to be working to ensure implementation by the Parties to the high standards set by the COP.
The COP also decided to continue the work on the illicit trade protocol as a priority and the next INB for the Illicit Trade Protocol will be held in Geneva from 28 June through July, 5 2009. Work will also be done between now and COP-4 on Articles 6 (price and tax measures), 9 and 10 (product regulation and disclosure), 12 (education, communication, training and public awareness), 14 (demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation), 17 and 18 (support for economically viable alternatives and protection of the environment) and 19 (liability).
In all of this policy-making and standard-setting work, the outcomes of both this COP and the previous COP have been excellent. However, there is still a long way to go on issues relating to financial resources and mechanisms of assistance to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition in implementing the Convention.
We will need to do a lot of work in this area between now and COP-4. The relationship and division of functions between the FCTC secretariat and WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative in supporting FCTC implementation needs to be clarified. This was a major issue raised by Parties at the COP and will need to be further worked through at meetings of the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board in the first half of next year.
The last major item to report is that COP-4 will be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay in the last quarter of 2010. Given Uruguay’s leadership – both internationally through the COP and in the standards it has set in tobacco control through its domestic FCTC implementation – it is hard to think of a more fitting host country.
Source: Laurent Huber, Director of the Framework Convention Alliance
The role of article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC in protecting public policy from tobacco industry influence
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was adopted unanimously by the 56th World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003. The final text is contained in World Health Assembly Resolution 56.1.
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Framework Convention Alliance (FCA)
Tobacco Fact Sheets
The Framework Convention Alliance published a series of Tobacco Fact Sheets outlining positions relating to the major aspects of the FCTC.
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