Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An international treaty for tobacco control

13.08.2003


Dr LEE Jong-wook, WHO Director-General, urges countries to quickly sign and ratify the treaty.


Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the world today. With 4.9 million tobacco-related deaths per year, no other consumer product is as dangerous, or kills as many people, as tobacco. But with the adoption of a new, ground-breaking international treaty, the scene is now set to protect billions of people from the devastating impact of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.

May 21st 2003 was a historic day for global public health. At the 56th World Health Assembly, WHO’s 192 Member States unanimously adopted the world’s first public health treaty, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Negotiated under the auspices of WHO, this new treaty is the first legal instrument designed to reduce tobacco-related deaths and disease around the world. Now the key is for countries to sign and ratify the Convention as quickly as possible.

Key elements of the treaty



Among its many measures, the treaty requires countries to impose restrictions on tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion; establish new packaging and labelling of tobacco products; establish clean indoor air controls; and strengthen legislation to clamp down on tobacco smuggling.

Advertising, sponsorship and promotion

Tobacco products are advertised through sports events, music events, films, fashion - in fact, any place where the tobacco industry can target potential new smokers. The treaty obliges Party States to undertake a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, as far as their constitutions permit. Parties whose constitution or constitutional principles do not allow them to undertake a comprehensive ban must apply a series of restrictions on all advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Packaging and labelling of tobacco products

As advertising restrictions are implemented, tobacco packaging plays an increasingly important role in encouraging tobacco consumption. The treaty obliges Party States to adopt and implement large, clear, visible, legible, and rotating health warnings and messages on tobacco products and its outside packaging, occupying at least 30% of the principal display areas. This is required within three years of entry into force of the Convention.

Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke

Second-hand smoke is a real and significant threat to public health. Children are at particular risk - exposure to tobacco smoke in children can cause respiratory disease, middle ear disease, asthma attacks, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The treaty obliges Party States to adopt and implement (in areas of existing national jurisdiction as determined by national law), or promote (at other jurisdictional levels), effective measures providing for protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places.

Illicit trade in tobacco products

Cigarettes are smuggled widely throughout the world. In addition to making international brands more affordable and accessible, illegal cigarettes evade restrictions and health regulations. The treaty obliges State Parties to adopt and implement effective measures to eliminate illicit trade, illicit manufacturing, and counterfeiting of tobacco products.

The implementation challenge

For the treaty to come into force, 40 countries must sign and then ratify it. The treaty opened for signature by countries on 16 June 2003 at WHO headquarters, Geneva. From 30 June 2003 - 29 June 2004, it is available for signature at UN headquarters in New York. Signing the treaty represents an expression of political support and good faith in the interim period until ratification. To date, 46 countries and the European Commission have signed, and one country - Norway - has ratified the treaty.

The challenge will then be to implement the treaty and make it a reality on the ground. This will involve putting in place the needed technical foundations, and translating the treaty into national laws. WHO is providing a number of guidelines and materials to support countries to do this. Already, however, countries are using the treaty as a large umbrella under which to strengthen tobacco control. To give some examples, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is reassessing its policies on exposure to second hand smoke in public places; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has announced that it will double the price of cigarettes to reduce consumption; Tanzania has banned smoking in public places; and Thailand is focusing on cross-border issues and tobacco smuggling.

Tobacco facts

:: Tobacco causes around 13 500 deaths per day
:: Half of children are exposed to tobacco smoke at home
:: 47.5% of men smoke
:: 10.3% of women smoke
:: Tobacco causes serious health problems [pdf 363kb]
:: A cigarette is the only legally available consumer product that kills through normal use

| WHO
Further information:
http://www.who.int

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>