Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

World Health Assembly Resolution 56.1

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was adopted unanimously by the 56th World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003. The final text is contained in World Health Assembly Resolution 56.1.


Part II: Objective, guiding principles and general obligations

Article 3: Objective

The objective of this Convention and its protocols is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke by providing a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented by the Parties at the national, regional and international levels in order to reduce continually and substantially the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.

Article 4: Guiding principles

To achieve the objective of this Convention and its protocols and to implement its provisions, the Parties shall be guided, inter alia, by the principles set out below:

  • Every person should be informed of the health consequences, addictive nature and mortal threat posed by tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke and effective legislative, executive, administrative or other measures should be contemplated at the appropriate governmental level to protect all persons from exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Strong political commitment is necessary to develop and support, at the national, regional and international levels, comprehensive multisectoral measures and coordinated responses, taking into consideration:
    • the need to take measures to protect all persons from exposure to tobacco smoke;
    • the need to take measures to prevent the initiation, to promote and support cessation, and to decrease the consumption of tobacco products in any form;
    • the need to take measures to promote the participation of indigenous individuals and communities in the development, implementation and evaluation of tobacco control programmes that are socially and culturally appropriate to their needs and perspectives; and
    • the need to take measures to address gender-specific risks when developing tobacco control strategies.
  • International cooperation, particularly transfer of technology, knowledge and financial assistance and provision of related expertise, to establish and implement effective tobacco control programmes, taking into consideration local culture, as well as social, economic, political and legal factors, is an important part of the Convention.
  • Comprehensive multisectoral measures and responses to reduce consumption of all tobacco products at the national, regional and international levels are essential so as to prevent, in accordance with public health principles, the incidence of diseases, premature disability and mortality due to tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Issues relating to liability, as determined by each Party within its jurisdiction, are an important part of comprehensive tobacco control.
  • The importance of technical and financial assistance to aid the economic transition of tobacco growers and workers whose livelihoods are seriously affected as a consequence of tobacco control programmes in developing country Parties, as well as Parties with economies in transition, should be recognized and addressed in the context of nationally developed strategies for sustainable development.
  • The participation of civil society is essential in achieving the objective of the Convention and its protocols.

Article 5: General obligations

  • Each Party shall develop, implement, periodically update and review comprehensive multisectoral national tobacco control strategies, plans and programmes in accordance with this Convention and the protocols to which it is a Party.
  • Towards this end, each Party shall, in accordance with its capabilities:
    • establish or reinforce and finance a national coordinating mechanism or focal points for tobacco control; and
    • adopt and implement effective legislative, executive, administrative and/or other measures and cooperate, as appropriate, with other Parties in developing appropriate policies for preventing and reducing tobacco consumption, nicotine addiction and exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law.
  • The Parties shall cooperate in the formulation of proposed measures, procedures and guidelines for the implementation of the Convention and the protocols to which they are Parties.
  • The Parties shall cooperate, as appropriate, with competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies to achieve the objectives of the Convention and the protocols to which they are Parties.
  • The Parties shall, within means and resources at their disposal, cooperate to raise financial resources for effective implementation of the Convention through bilateral and multilateral funding mechanisms.
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