WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization. The WHO FCTC is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. The WHO FCTC represents a paradigm shift in developing a regulatory strategy to address addictive substances; in contrast to previous drug control treaties, the WHO FCTC asserts the importance of demand reduction strategies as well as supply issues.
The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The spread of the tobacco epidemic is facilitated through a variety of complex factors with cross-border effects, including trade liberalization and direct foreign investment. Other factors such as global marketing, transnational tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and the international movement of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes have also contributed to the explosive increase in tobacco use.
The core demand reduction provisions in the WHO FCTC are contained in articles 6-14:
• Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, and
• Non-price measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, namely:
-Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke;
-Regulation of the contents of tobacco products;
-Regulation of tobacco product disclosures;
-Packaging and labeling of tobacco products;
-Education, communication, training and public awareness;
-Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and,
-Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation.
The FCTC was adopted unanimously by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. To date, 43 Member States in the African Region have ratified the WHO FCTC.