Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

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Background

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a treaty (an agreement under international law) adopted on May 2003 by the 56th World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO. This was the first global public health treaty adopted by the WHO. The FCTC treaty entered into force from February 2005 legally binding 180 ratifying countries as of 2017[1].

FCTC was adopted as an answer to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The expansion of the tobacco epidemic increased due to factors beyond the control of a single country; such as trade liberalization, direct foreign investments, global marketing, transnational tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and international movement of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes[2]. According to the preamble of the FCTC, it also reflects the “concern of the international community about the devastating worldwide health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke”. The Convention also states that “Parties to this Convention are determined to give priority to their right to protect public health”. [2] This agreement is one of the most quickly authenticated treaties in the United Nations history, highlighting its importance in protecting the present and future generations from the destructive health, social and economic consequences due to the tobacco burden. [2]

Sri Lanka was the first Asian country to ratify the FCTC and 4th in the world to do so.[3]

The Articles

The Convention is divided into sections or ‘Articles’[2]:

  • Articles 3 to 5 - Objective, guiding principles and general obligations of the treaty;
  • Articles 6 to 14 – Demand reduction measures;
  • Articles 15 to 17 – Supply reduction measures;
  • Article 18 – Protection of the environment;
  • Article 19 – Liability;
  • Articles 20 to 22 - Cooperation and communication;
  • Articles 23 to 26 - Institutional arrangements and financial resources;
  • Article 27 - Settlement of disputes;
  • Articles 28 to 29 - Development of the convention; and
  • Articles 30 to 38 - “final provisions”, covering statutory matters such as means of acceding to the Convention, entry into force, and so on.

Please see the pages below for more details on the Convention:

FCTC Article 5.3 | FCTC Article 7 | FCTC Article 8 | FCTC Article 9 | FCTC Article 10 | FCTC Article 11 | FCTC Article 12 | FCTC Article 14

The Recommendations

The strategies recommended by the convention is summarized in the acronym ‘MPOWER[4]

MMonitor tobacco use and prevention policies
P Protect people from tobacco smoke
OOffer help to quit tobacco use
WWarn people about tobacco
EEnforce bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship
RRaise the price of tobacco


Relevant Links

WHO FCTC

CCT Resources

Notes

  1. WHO Framework Convention on tobacco control website, 2017, accessed March, 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 World Health Organization. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 2005, accessed March 2017
  3. C. Fonseka. Tobacco, alcohol and doctors. Ceylon Medical Journal. 2009, 54(3), 71–74
  4. Tobacco Free Initiative. MPOWER brochures and other resources, 2017, accessed March, 2017