SEA/RC61/9 - Tobacco control: progress and plans for implementing FCTC
AbstractThe tobacco epidemic is one of the major global public health problems today that is being facilitated through a variety of complex factors. The tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide in the 20th century and it could kill one billion people during the 21st century, if effective control measures are not taken. Out of 5.4 million global deaths from tobacco per year, 1.2 million occur in the Region. Tobacco use is increasing fast in developing countries due to weak tobacco control measures there. Member countries of the South-East Asia (SEA) Region are not only major tobacco producers, but also majority of males in these countries are users of various forms of tobacco products. In order to respond to this global epidemic, Member countries developed, negotiated and adopted unanimously the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) at the Fifty-sixth World Health Assembly in May 2003. As of 12 June 2008, 168 Member States are signatories to the Convention, and 156 Member States and the European Community are Parties to it. Ten out of 11 Member countries of the WHO SEA Region are Parties to the Convention. In order to implement the WHO FCTC effectively, five Member countries in the Region have enacted comprehensive tobacco control legislation, while others are in the process of formulating the same. As decided by the second session of Conference of Parties held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007, a Protocol for the Convention on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products is currently being negotiated. Meanwhile, the WHO Report on Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008 has recommended a six-point policy package called MPOWER for effective tobacco control. These policies are: (i) Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies (Article 20); (ii) Protect people from tobacco smoke (Article 8); (iii) Offer help to quit tobacco use (Article 14); (iv) Warn about the dangers of tobacco (Article 11); (v) Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13 ); and (vi) Raise taxes on tobacco (Article 6). This brief paper aims to focus on the progress of implementation of the concrete measures for tobacco control in the Region based on the provisions of the Convention. The Meeting of the Advisory Committee (ACM), held at WHO/SEARO from 30 June– 3 July 2008, reviewed the technical briefing paper, discussed it thoroughly and made the following recommendations: Action by Member States (1) To encourage implementation of the six-point MPOWER policy package as advocated in the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008; (2) To establish/strengthen national coordinating mechanisms and national regulatory authorities with provision of adequate resources to implement the WHO FCTC; (3) To take active part in the development of guidelines for implementation of various provisions of the WHO Framework Convention as well as in the negotiations on the protocols to the Framework Convention; and (4) To organize national forums and consultative meetings of key stakeholders including civil society organizations in order to review various innovative financing options including the use of dedicated taxation from tobacco to implement activities for promoting health. Action by WHO/SEARO (1) To continue strengthening its Tobacco Free Initiative programme to support Member countries in implementing national tobacco control programmes in accordance with the WHO FCTC, and to help implement the Framework Convention and its protocols effectively; and (2) To continue to mobilize resources to support tobacco control efforts in the Region. The paper is now submitted to the Sixty-first Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2008). SEA/RC61/9 - Tobacco control: progress and plans for implementing FCTC. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128645