Tobacco Accountability Bulletin
Delegation Seeks to Undermine
WHO member countries unanimously agreed in 1999 to respond to the global epidemic by launching negotiations on a global tobacco treaty. If adopted, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will constitute the first treaty negotiated through the WHO. The second round of formal negotiations over the treaty are underway this week in Geneva.
The Framework Convention could make an enormous contribution to stemming the global tobacco epidemic by fostering international cooperation on issues such as smuggling and the global marketing of tobacco products.
A proposed smuggling protocol could involve a system of tracking cigarette
exports, including labels indicating the intended final destination. Cigarette
smuggling is at epidemic levels -- an estimated one in three internationally
traded cigarettes is smuggled -- and newly emerging evidence from company
documents suggests the tobacco industry is facilitating, encouraging or
even directing smuggling on a massive scale. Smuggling allows tobacco
companies to evade excise taxes, which in most
A marketing protocol could impose a worldwide ban on cigarette advertising and marketing, or at least require countries to adopt prohibitions on tobacco advertising to the extent permitted under their national constitutions.
Unfortunately, U.S. tobacco control advocates report that the U.S. delegation in Geneva is working to undermine an effective treaty. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and
American Lung Association reports that the United States has sought to: