Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

November 8th, 2016:

California hikes tobacco taxes, to start taxing e-cigarettes

California voters soundly approved a ballot measure Tuesday to raise tobacco taxes $2 a pack and start taxing electronic cigarettes, marking what supporters called a victory for public health that overcame a heavily financed fight by tobacco companies.

The measure passed by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent with more than 5.6 million votes counted.

Opponents, led by tobacco companies, poured more than $71 million into efforts to defeat Proposition 56, compared to more than $34 million raised by supporters of the initiative that included billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer.

“This historic measure will reduce teen smoking, fund the health care system, and save lives,” Steyer said in a statement. “Californians rejected the tobacco industry’s lies and acted to protect the health of our kids.”

The measure will add $2 to the current 87-cents-a-pack state tax on cigarettes. California also joins only about a half dozen states in taxing e-cigarettes, including vapor products. Proponents of taxing such products hoped approval would prompt more states to follow the trendsetting California.

Anti-smoking advocates said the vapor liquids that come in candy flavors aim to hook a new generation on nicotine, while the vaping industry argued its products are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco and expressed concern that taxing them at the same rate as tobacco products could threaten them as a potentially useful tool to help smokers quit.

E-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine into a vapor, delivering the chemical that smokers crave without the harmful by-products generated from burning tobacco. Some say e-cigarettes are a potentially useful tool to help smokers — a benefit that could be threatened if the products are taxed.

California has not raised its tobacco taxes since 1998.

Besides Steyer, Proposition 56 drew support from medical groups, educators and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also supported a failed attempt to raise tobacco taxes in 2012. It was narrowly defeated amid big spending by tobacco interests.

California’s legislative analyst and the state’s finance director said Proposition 56 could raise $1 billion to $1.4 billion in state revenue by the 2017-2018 year, with potentially lower annual revenues over time.

Tobacco companies said the money will benefit insurance companies and hospital corporations. The industry was accused of misleading voters with that campaign because much of the money, in fact, will go to California’s Medi-Cal, the state-run program that pays insurance providers and hospitals for low-income residents. The tax revenue would also fund anti-smoking campaigns and medical research.

“Since day one, we ran our campaign on the issues and substance of the measure, and urged voters to evaluate the content, intent and flaws of Prop. 56,” Beth Miller, spokeswoman for the “No on 56” campaign, said in a statement. “While we believe Proposition 56 is bad public policy, the voters have spoken and we respect their decision.”

Both California and Hawaii recently increased the legal age to 21 to purchase either tobacco or e-cigarettes.

New direct funding available for low- and middle-income countries to regulate tobacco – UN

New funding is now available to support tobacco control implementation for low and middle income countries through the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) , currently the strongest global instrument to control tobacco.

If current patterns continue, tobacco will kill about one billion people during the 21st century. By 2030, 80 per cent of those who die due to tobacco use will be those who live in low- and middle-income countries.

The new project will be delivered by the WHO FCTC through a collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners. 179 countries and the European Union are Parties to the Convention. The partnership will provide support to low- and middle-income countries as they move to implement new control strategies and policies. The Convention is expected to greatly reduce tobacco use if implemented properly.

In developing countries, the deleterious effects of tobacco are primarily treated as a health matter, which, though important, overlooks serious secondary impacts on social, economic, and environmental progress. Tobacco control is a development issue and successful regulation relies on the contributions from sectors such as commerce, trade, finance, justice, and education. This is why the international community has agreed to incorporate the implementation of the WHO FCTC throughout the entire 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not only Goal 3, which addresses health and wellbeing.

“The implementation of the WHO FCTC is critical in advancing sustainable development,” said the Head of the FCTC Secretariat, Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva. “Through the new project, we will take implementation of the WHO FCTC to a new level by providing support and guidance to developing country Parties.”

Through the new initiative, low- and middle-income countries will be able to create and strengthen coordination mechanisms and action across sectors to implement the WHO FCTC. Examples include treaty obligations to ban tobacco advertising and promotion, guarantees that tobacco packaging comes with health warnings, putting an end to smoking in enclosed public spaces and in the workplace, tax increases for tobacco products, and safeguards to keep public health policies free from tobacco industry interference.

Prior work by the UN and Parties to the Convention has revealed support in a number of areas related to social and economic development. Efficient tobacco control measures can have positive impacts on investment and country-specific plans for increasing non-health sector engagement in order to protect health policies that are integral to the implementation of the SDGs.

Douglas Webb, Team Leader on Health and Innovative Financing at the UNDP also welcomed the project: “There is a growing recognition that current tobacco trends and sustainable development cannot coexist. As a committed partner, UNDP welcomes this opportunity to advance tobacco control through better support to national planning, good governance, and protection against tobacco industry interference in policy making.”

Over the next five years, the project will call upon governments from low- and middle-income countries to join in implementing the WHO FCTC. The United Kingdom is helping to make the project possible through generous financial contributions.


A recurring theme during plenary discussions on the opening day of COP7 was tobacco industry interference.

From Uruguay and Australia’s landmark legal victories against tobacco giants like Philip Morris International, to plain packaging taking root in countries like the UK and France, Parties’ resolve to stand strong against Big Tobacco’s aggressive attempts to block, weaken, and delay the life-saving measures of the FCTC is stronger than ever.

One of the main focuses of Parties’ statements yesterday, however, was how the tobacco industry interferes in sessions of the COP themselves – whether it’s mobilising front groups to attempt to re-frame the debate, infiltrating the space dedicated to increasing public engagement with the FCTC negotiations, or even getting seats on Party delegations.

Article 5.3 and its guidelines are unambiguous about the participation of the tobacco industry on Parties’ delegations: per recommendations 4.9 and 8.3, Parties should not nominate the tobacco industry as part of its delegations to COP and other FCTC meetings. But at least 11 Parties have done so in recent years, according to an analysis by the Secretariat. Not only that, but a documentary by the BBC revealed late last year that BAT engaged in corporate espionage and bribed politicians and policymakers in the name of buying political influence and undermining tobacco control policies. This included payments to FCTC officials, including an official who was representing a Party at negotiations on the Illicit Trade Protocol.

The good news is that the vast majority of delegations take their obligations under Article 5.3 very seriously, and some at this COP have even voluntarily signed declarations stating they have no conflict of interest with the tobacco industry. This is great progress.

FCA strongly supports the guidelines for Article 5.3. FCA commends the Convention Secretariat for addressing this issue of importance in its report to COP7  (FCTC/COP/7/30), and supports the establishment of a mechanism to enforce adherence to FCTC guidelines on this issue.

If Parties would like to give further consideration to the type of process best suited to bringing sessions of the COP in line with Article 5.3 and its guidelines, FCA suggests that the COP delegation nomination process might involve a declaration of implementation of Article 5.3.

And what about the public? The industry has also infiltrated the very mechanism designed to increase democratic participation in COP sessions – the public gallery. Rule 32 of the Rules of Procedure states that sessions of the COP should be held in public, unless the COP decides that they shall be open or restricted. But, of course, the public badge enables these tobacco industry representatives to walk the halls of the COP to misinform delegates, influence the negotiations, obtain sensitive internal documents, intimidate delegates and NGO observers, and more.

FCA believes that the industry should be prevented from infiltrating COP sessions through the public badge, and recommends that Parties apply a pre-screening process for members of the public to screen out tobacco industry representatives from bona fide members of the public in advance of COP sessions.

FCA also recognises the importance of media attendance at COP sessions and recommends Parties apply a pre-screening process for members of the media to ensure the tobacco industry cannot infiltrate FCTC meetings through the media.

John Stewart and Shuo Peskoe-Young
Corporate Accountability Internationsal


Earlier this year Philip Morris International (PMI) launched PMI IMPACT – a funding initiative for projects “dedicated to fighting illegal trade and related crimes, such as corruption, organized [sic] crime and money laundering”. In its first funding call in 2016, PMI IMPACT invited proposals focusing specifically on the illicit tobacco trade in the European Union (EU). Public organisations, law enforcement, private entities and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) were all encouraged to submit.

The initiative puts forward three focus areas; research, education and awareness, and action. Each proposal is required to address at least one area.

PMI pledged US$100 million for three funding rounds and publicised that more than 200 expressions of interest had been submitted to the first funding call from 170 organisations, including government agencies, universities, research institutes and private entities.

Funding applications are judged by an expert panel, consisting of seven individuals with very close links to various United Nations (UN) agencies. These include Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, who has previously held 22 UN positions, Catherine Volz, who served in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for over 18 years, and Suzanne Hayden, former senior advisor to the UNODC.

PMI IMPACT is not the first research funding initiative from the tobacco company. In 2000, it launched the PMI External Research Program (PMERP), which administered grants to scientists for research on multiple topics, including nontobacco causes of cardiovascular diseases and genetic susceptibility to cancers. Such initiatives are tied to the tobacco industry’s long history of producing misleading research, begining with its attempts in the early 1950s to discredit the then newly-proven causal link between smoking and lung cancer. PMI IMPACT can be seen as another attempt at controlling the discourse around science, the research itself and its

The illicit tobacco trade is one of several policy areas where the tobacco industry is attempting to not only gain access to the policy process, but also to take part in this process as a valued expert and stakeholder.

However, given the industry’s historic complicity in the illicit trade, its questionable preexisting research on the topic and its repeated use of illicit trade as a counter argument to the further regulation of its products, its motives in launching PMI IMPACT are arguably spurious.

In 2004, PMI paid the EU $1.25 billion to settle claims over the company’s involvement in tobacco smuggling, and committed to produce an annual ‘Project Star’ report about illicit tobacco in the EU. These reports were created by the global accountancy firm KPMG and have been widely criticised by academics. PMI has also commissioned multiple KPMG reports on illicit tobacco in Australia. Cancer Council Victoria has produced critiques of several of these reports leading to the Australian Government stated in 2013 that “the tobacco industry`s estimates of the size of the illicit market are not considered to be accurate”. Multiple tobacco companies have commissioned similar reports by Deloitte – another global accountancy firm.

Internal documents include examples of PMI internal documents include examples of the company attempting to influence the drafting of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). In 2000, for example, PMI argued to the US Departments of Commerce and Health and Human Services that government involvement with the tobacco industry would be a more effective way of combating illicit trade than the measures put forward in the FCTC. The consultancy group Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin Inc advised PMI that future FCTC protocols would have a bigger impact on the tobacco industry than the FCTC itself and so should become the company’s main focus. PMI IMPACT might be seen as a key part of continued efforts to undermine policy, particularly the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, known as the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP).

Calls for new research on a particular topic carry with them the underlying suggestion that pre-existing research is flawed or lacking. The arrival of PMI IMPACT may be an attempt by the industry to further control data on illicit trade and use this to influence policy. With only 17 Parties needed before the ITP enters into force, it is essential that PMI IMPACT, and the research that results from it, are viewed with intense scrutiny by researchers and Governments alike.

Allen Gallagher & Karen Evans-Reeves,
Tobacco Control Research Group,
University of Bath


At the first Conference of the Parties in 2006, Parties agreed to start developing guidelines for the FCTC, starting with Article 8 on protection from exposure to tobacco smoke and Article 9 on tobacco product regulation. Five COP sessions later and there has been adoption of complete guidelines for Article 8 at COP2, followed by Articles 5.3, 11 and 13 at COP3, and Articles 12 and 14 at COP4. Even the guidelines on Article 6, with respect to tobacco taxation, a highly technical area, only took two sessions to complete and were adopted at COP6.

The approach adopted for guidelines on Articles 9 and 10, product regulation and disclosure, has been much more cautious, for good reason.

Regulation of the contents and emissions of tobacco products can be highly technical requiring sophisticated expertise, may be resource intensive and may risk of unintended consequences, depending on the nature of the regulation.

For these reasons by COP3 there were still no guidelines to be adopted and the working group was mandated to work gradually ‘in a step-by-step process’. The first partial 9 and 10 guidelines were adopted at COP4, and included disclosure and regulation of ingredients (such as flavours) and financing of regulation by the tobacco industry. At COP5 partial guidelines were adopted to reduce the fire risk of cigarettes (reduced ignition propensity).

At COP6 no further partial guidelines were adopted, but COP agreed to mandate the working group to “continue its work in elaborating guidelines in a step-by-step process, and to submit draft partial guidelines or a progress report on the disclosure, testing and measuring of contents and emissions to the next session of the COP”.

Work is still underway on the independent validation of analytical methods with help from WHO, and its expert groups TobReg and TobLabNet. At COP7 partial guidelines are being put forward for adoption on disclosure and design features which increase attractiveness.

This cautious approach to tobacco product regulation is justified by past experience, which has caused serious detriment to public health. The notable example of such failure is ‘low tar’ cigarettes, often called ‘light’ or ‘mild’, introduced by the tobacco industry to counter growing concerns about the health risks of smoking, by promoting supposedly less harmful cigarettes. What the tobacco industry knew, but public health experts took many years to realise, was that they were no less harmful.

Smokers were compensating by smoking so called ‘low tar’ cigarettes harder, allowing more carcinogens to go deeper into the lungs.

Yet the myth of ‘low tar’ continues to reverberate with smokers around the world. Although the FCTC requires a ban on misleading packaging and makes specific reference to terms like ‘low tar’, ‘light’ and ‘mild’, alternative ways of promoting low tar cigarettes through lighter pack colours and other names like ‘smooth’ have emerged.

According to Euromonitor sales of light and ultra-low tar cigarettes continued to grow after the FCTC was adopted, from 423 billion in 1998 to 756 billion in 2008.

An idea receiving more discussion in tobacco product regulation is reducing the addictiveness of cigarettes by reducing nicotine to very low levels. In the US, extensive research is ongoing on this issue. However, prior experiences with regulating nicotine emissions have demonstrated the importance of fully understanding the science and the benefit of regulatory experience in developing international guidelines. Any guideline proposal to regulate the content of nicotine needs to be based on sound science, including the potential for industry manipulation and unintended consequences. At present, no government has implemented a specific approach on nicotine reduction that could provide the basis for international guidelines.

Guidelines for nicotine reduction were discussed at the Article 9 & 10 working group meeting earlier this year. However, many Parties were of the view that such international guidelines would be premature until there is country level experience in implementation of such a policy. FCA agrees with this perspective and urges the COP to wait until there is successful country regulatory experience to draw on before proceeding any further with the development and adoption of guidelines on this issue.

Deborah Arnott,
Action on Smoking and Health

Rob Cunningham,
Canadian Cancer Society


The ball is rolling internationally as more countries ban menthol cigarettes, including flavour capsules, as well as other flavoured tobacco products.

The rationale to ban menthol is clear and compelling.

Menthol soothes the throat making it easier to smoke, and makes it easier for kids to experiment and get addicted.

Menthol also discourages adults from quitting.

On 31 May 2015, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia became the first place in the world to implement a menthol cigarette ban. The menthol ban applies to all tobacco products. 7 out of 10 Canadian provinces have adopted menthol bans as part of broader flavoured tobacco bans.

The Canadian government is preparing a national menthol cigarette ban.

In the European Union (EU), a menthol cigarette ban will come into force 20 May 2020 for all 28 EU countries. Turkey and Moldova will do likewise on 20 May 2020. In Africa, Ethiopia and Uganda have adopted legislation banning flavours including menthol.

In recent years, a major tobacco industry strategy has been the marketing of cigarettes with squeezable flavour capsules. Sales of capsule cigarettes are significant and growing in many countries. While menthol is the most common flavour in capsules, other flavours are also being used.

In the EU, a ban on flavoured capsules came into force at the manufacturer level on 20 May 2016. Germany and Belgium were the first countries with cigarette capsule bans, prior to the EU requirement. Canadian provincial legislation banning menthol includes a capsule ban.

There is a positive, accelerating international trend to ban menthol, capsules and flavours in tobacco products, and thus respond to industry practices to increase tobacco product attractiveness and sales.

Rob Cunningham
Canadian Cancer Society


At COP7’s opening plenary, the UK fired the starting pistol on a new era for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by investing £15 million pounds (around US$18 million) into FCTC implementation between now and 2021.

This commitment cements the link between development and tobacco control, which was still emerging at previous COPs prior to agreement on the post-2015 development agenda. As the UK said in its statement to the COP, “The inclusion of the FCTC in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a major step forward and recognises that tobacco use negatively impacts on health and development.”

The funding, which supports a new initiative to promote the implementation of the FCTC in low- and middle-income countries, comes from the UK’s aid budget (the UK is the only G7 country to have met the UN’s target to spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on overseas aid). It will be delivered by the FCTC Secretariat to directly support a number of Parties as well as initiatives to promote implementation of the treaty in all low- and middle-income countries.

A key target of the SDGs health goal is to accelerate implementation of the FCTC.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development goes further and states: “Price and tax measures on tobacco can be an effective  and important means to reduce tobacco consumption and health care costs, and represent a revenue stream for financing for development in many countries.” The UK has a lot to offer in tobacco control, with wide-ranging expertise in most areas of the FCTC, including some of the highest taxes in the world combined with a comprehensive and effective strategy to tackle illicit trade.

The Action Agenda also says Parties should strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC and “support mechanisms to raise awareness and mobilize resources for the convention.” The UK, through its funding commitment, is taking a lead on this and we hope others will follow.

This funding comes at just the right time, as the COP moves from prioritising policy development to implementation. At previous COP sessions the majority of time during the six days of inter-governmental negotiations was dedicated to agreeing on best practices in tobacco control in the form of guidelines for implementation of various FCTC articles. At COP7, no guidelines will be discussed, aside from partial guidelines for Article 9 and 10 (product testing and regulation). At this COP we need to turn our attention instead to developing a coherent and consistent approach to supporting treaty implementation, a process which to date has been ad hoc and underfunded.

The COP will be covering a range of related and overlapping issues: Status on implementation

• Reporting and implementation review (a report from an expert group);
• Impact assessment (which is a key source of information about levels of implementation and gaps and challenges which need addressing for effective treaty implementation).

Mechanisms to support  implementation

• International co-operation for FCTC implementation;
• South-South and triangular co-operation;
• Sustainable measures to strengthen implementation (report of the working group); and
• Financial resources and mechanisms of assistance.

At COP7 we have the opportunity to re-examine how these issues interlink and to develop an efficient and holistic system that will maximise the synergies between them, working in collaboration with other members of the UN family, in particular WHO and the UN Development Programme. Such a system needs to underpin full implementation of the Treaty and provide maximum support to Parties. And we can do this secure in the knowledge that the funding has been provided by the UK to the Secretariat to get the ball rolling.

Deborah Arnott

Vaping raises likelihood of teenagers starting to smoke, study suggests

Research based on teenagers in California tentatively proposes link but experts say it does not prove that one leads to the other

A study of teenagers in California has tentatively suggested a link between vaping and starting to smoke cigarettes, although experts say it does not prove that one leads to the other.

About 37% of teens in the US have tried vaping, and there is widespread anxiety that young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to start smoking as a result.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), looked at vaping and smoking in more than 3,000 teenagers, aged about 15, in the 10th grade of 10 public high schools in Los Angeles county, California.

The numbers who vaped or smoked at all were small – only 26 who had never smoked at the beginning of the study said at the end of the follow-up period, six months later, that they had used e-cigarettes and also smoked in the previous month. Others had previously smoked infrequently or frequently.

But the researchers did find a trend. The more the teenagers said they had vaped, the more likely they were to smoke cigarettes. The more frequent vapers were also likely to smoke more heavily.

The public health community is divided over the pros and cons of e-cigarettes. Some doctors believe they may be the best tool yet for helping established smokers quit the habit, but others are less convinced and warn they could be a means of hooking non-smokers into a tobacco habit.

The authors of the study – Adam Leventhal, of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, and colleagues – acknowledge there are many unknowns but conclude that: “The transition from vaping to smoking may warrant particular attention in tobacco control policy.”

Why can’t scientists agree on e-cigarettes?

Other experts said although the study was well conducted, it could not explain the link. “This study could not tell us if it is something about the young people that vape that predisposes them to smoking or that vaping itself makes smoking more likely,” said Paul Aveyard, professor of behavioural medicine at the University of Oxford. It was well known that teenagers who tried one risky behaviour were more likely to be willing to try another.

“Smoking in young people has fallen in the UK and the US to record lows in the past few years, despite the rise in prevalence of young people experimenting with e-cigarettes,” he said.

“Very few young people who do not smoke cigarettes become regular users of e-cigarettes. In this context, we should not worry unduly about this study’s findings, but it is important to monitor smoking in young people and its relationship with e-cigarette use.”

Prof John Britton, director of the UK centre for tobacco and alcohol studies at the University of Nottingham, said the study “doesn’t tell us whether vaping caused these young people to start smoking, or whether they would have started smoking anyway; or whether vaping prevented some young people who would otherwise have become smokers from progressing to tobacco smoking.”

Children whose parents were smokers and trying to give up would be more likely to have access to e-cigarettes – and also more at risk of starting to smoke in the first place.

“The key question is whether vaping is increasing smoking uptake, over and above that underlying risk,” said Britton. “This study doesn’t answer that question; but it does show that if it does, the proportions of children affected are very small.”

India may get chunk of UK’s $90 million to WHO tobacco control convention

India might get a chunk of the 90 million dollars, funded by the United Kingdom to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to intensify tobacco control measures across the world.

The FCTC on Tuesday said it had launched a new project under which developing countries will get dedicated support to implement the tobacco control policies.

“Yes, India may be one of the countries. Though nothing has been decided as of now,” said Stella Bialous from the FCTC Secretariat.

Asked if the FCTC had decided countries likely to get immediate dedicated support, Bialous told IANS: “There is no defined way to categories but certainly it will be decided with transparency.”

“Funds will be given to some countries who are already prepared to implement the measures,” said Stella, addressing the press on the second day of the FCTC Convention which commenced on November 7.

According to her, the funding will be decided geographically as well.

On the occasion, FCTC also said that they seek to hike financial contributions from all the countries to the organisation.

“There needs to be an increase as we need to reach out to the world on anti-tobacco policies, “said Bialous.

WHO convention launches project to strengthen tobacco control

Developing countries are all set to get a boost in their tobacco control efforts with the the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control today launching a project to strengthen implementation of the global tobacco control treaty.

Through the project, countries will be offered support to create and strengthen coordination mechanisms and action across sectors to implement the WHO FCTC, including treaty obligations to ban tobacco advertising and promotion, ensure tobacco packaging has health warnings, end smoking in enclosed public and workplaces, and increase tobacco taxes among others.

The five-year project will open call for expressions of interest inviting LMIC governments wishing to join implementation from 2017 and will be delivered with the generous development funding from the United Kingdom.

“Developing countries will receive dedicated support to implement the WHO FCTC, the best instrument to ensure tobacco control worldwide that has 179 countries plus the European Union as its Parties.

“Through the new project, to be delivered by the WHO FCTC Secretariat in collaboration with UNDP and other partners, a number of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) will be eligible to receive direct support to implement tobacco control strategies and policies,” an official FCTC statement said.

This emerged on the second day of the Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) to World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which India is hosting for the first time.

The statement said that if current tobacco use patterns persist, tobacco will kill about 1 billion people in the 21st Century and by 2030, over 80 per cent of the world’s tobacco-related mortality will be in LMICs.

“The treaty is an evidence-based blueprint for tobacco control policies. Tobacco use will be reduced if a country has a high level of WHO FCTC implementation,” the statement said.

The significant harms of tobacco use on developing countries are usually understood primarily as health issue and this overlooks the extensive impact of tobacco on social, economic and environmental progress.

Tobacco control is a development issue and its success

relies on the work of other sectors such as commerce, trade, finance, justice and education. That is why the international community agreed to include the implementation of the WHO FCTC in the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it said.

In promoting the new project, the Head of the FCTC Secretariat Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva said that the implementation of the WHO FCTC is critical in advancing sustainable development.

“Through the new project, we will take implementation of the WHO FCTC to a new level by providing support and guidance to developing country parties,” Silva said.

Douglas Webb, Team Leader on Health and Innovative Financing at the UN Development Programme said that there is growing recognition that current tobacco trends and sustainable development cannot coexist.

“As a committed partner, UNDP welcomes this opportunity to advance tobacco control through better support to national planning, good governance and protection against tobacco industry interference in policy making,” he said.

The statement said that the full implementation of the WHO FCTC in low-and middle-income countries is “impeded” without the integration of tobacco control into broader development agendas such as food and water security, environment, the right to education and human rights.

Joint UN work at country level has also revealed a demand from Parties to the Convention for support in a number of areas related to social and economic development.

“Although well represented with two targets under Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and wellbeing (reduction by one-third of premature mortality from NCDs and full implementation of the WHO FCTC)…,

“The overall success of Agenda 2030 depends on successful tobacco control – and thus integrating tobacco control into the other SDGs and their targets,” the statement said