The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)

As of 2011, more than 170 countries have acceded to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. This treaty, which is the foundation for the global fight against tobacco, includes both supply- and demand-reduction measures for tobacco control. In force since 2005, it is one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in the history of the United Nations. An evidence-based treaty, it reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health and provides new legal dimensions for cooperation in tobacco control.

As with any other treaty, the WHO FCTC confers legal obligations on its Parties. Among these obligations are those to:

  • Protect public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.
  • Adopt price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco.
  • Protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Regulate the contents of tobacco products.
  • Regulate tobacco product disclosures.
  • Regulate the packaging and labeling of tobacco products.
  • Warn people about the dangers of tobacco.
  • Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
  • Offer people help to end their addictions to tobacco.
  • Control the illicit trade in tobacco products.
  • Ban sales to and by minors.
  • Support economically viable alternative to tobacco growing.

The treaty also recognizes the importance of international cooperation and of helping low- and middle-income countries to meet their treaty obligations.

The Conference of Parties to the WHO FCTC has adopted guidelines for implementation of the treaty.