Decisions to be adopted at the seventh Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)

News release

Decisions that will shape implementation of the WHO FCTC for the next two years and beyond are under discussion tonight at the seventh Conference of the Parties (COP7). Delegates at the committee stage are working late tonight to clear all decisions slatted to be adopted at the plenary tomorrow (Saturday).

“This is a critical moment for the Convention as it is the decisions made here in India that will drive tobacco control measures globally,” said Head of the Convention Secretariat, Dr Vera da Costa e Silva.

There are 180 Parties to the WHO FCTC and they meet regularly to implement the treaty and come to agreement about its evolving role. The conference in New Delhi, India, is considering decisions that will increase its links to international development and human rights.

The following are brief descriptions from much fuller decisions prepared at committee stage earlier this evening and being sent to the plenary for adoption on Saturday.

Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS): depiction of tobacco in entertainment media.

The decision calls on Parties to consider scaling up implementation to achieve comprehensive coverage of both cross-border advertising and TAPS in entertainment media. The report to the delegates stated, “...the situation is still alarming. Parties have therefore once again raised concerns in relation to the expanded use of entertainment media to promote tobacco use and have called for targeted action to address the issue.”

Monitoring the use of TAPS in entertainment media and cross-border advertising is also included in the decision, which accords with national legislation and priorities.

Economically sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing (in relation to Articles 17 & 18 of the WHO FCTC)

This decision which is being sent from committee to the plenary session encourages Parties not growing tobacco to not introduce tobacco growing and develop a whole-of-government and stakeholder participatory approach which promotes alternatives to tobacco growing, and avoid tobacco industry obstruction in programmes meant for the welfare and diversification of tobacco growers and workers and the protection of the environment, as appropriate in the national context. The international community is urged to support mobilisation of resources to promote economically viable alternatives to tobacco growers and workers.

Control and prevention of waterpipe tobacco products.

This decision will be sent to plenary for adoption tomorrow and deals with all aspects of waterpipe use, including tobacco used in the waterpipes and accessories. Monitoring of waterpipe tobacco use through national surveillance systems to cover all age groups and all policy aspects is included in the decision. It will include use of waterpipes in the ban of tobacco use in public places and to ban the use of flavourings in waterpipe tobacco products.

Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva offered her view on the work at the end of a busy policy-making night at COP7, “Commitment to public health over the interests of trade has been persuasive at COP7 and concerns over emerging products and the tobacco industry’s advertising strategies are being addressed. Mechanisms between Parties are being strengthened, which is encouraging and shows growing commitment between Parties, supporting the implementation of the Convention. This is translating into financial contributions aimed at supporting low-and middle-income countries that will enhance the effectiveness of the treaty around the world.”

Delegates are gathering tomorrow from 8:30 am and aim to have reached a conclusion by lunchtime.

For further information: Contact: mediafctc@who.int