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 III: Measures relating to the reduction of demand for tobacco

Article 6: Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco

  • The Parties recognize that price and tax measures are an effective and important means of reducing tobacco consumption by various segments of the population, in particular young persons.
  • Without prejudice to the sovereign right of the Parties to determine and establish their taxation policies, each Party should take account of its national health objectives concerning tobacco control and adopt or maintain, as appropriate, measures which may include:
    • implementing tax policies and, where appropriate, price policies, on tobacco products so as to contribute to the health objectives aimed at reducing tobacco consumption; and
    • prohibiting or restricting, as appropriate, sales to and/or importations by international travellers of tax- and duty-free tobacco products.
  • The Parties shall provide rates of taxation for tobacco products and trends in tobacco consumption in their periodic reports to the Conference of the Parties, in accordance with Article 21.

Article 7: Non-price measures to reduce the demand for tobacco

The Parties recognize that comprehensive non-price measures are an effective and important means of reducing tobacco consumption. Each Party shall adopt and implement effective legislative, executive, administrative or other measures necessary to implement its obligations pursuant to Articles 8 to 13 and shall cooperate, as appropriate, with each other directly or through competent international bodies with a view to their implementation. The Conference of the Parties shall propose appropriate guidelines for the implementation of the provisions of these Articles.

Article 8: Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke

  • Parties recognize that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability.
  • Each Party shall adopt and implement in areas of existing national jurisdiction as determined by national law and actively promote at other jurisdictional levels the adoption and implementation of effective legislative, executive, administrative and/or other measures, providing for protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places.

Article 9: Regulation of the contents of tobacco products

The Conference of the Parties, in consultation with competent international bodies, shall propose guidelines for testing and measuring the contents and emissions of tobacco products, and for the regulation of these contents and emissions. Each Party shall, where approved by competent national authorities, adopt and implement effective legislative, executive and administrative or other measures for such testing and measuring, and for such regulation.

Article 10: Regulation of tobacco product disclosures

Each Party shall, in accordance with its national law, adopt and implement effective legislative, executive, administrative or other measures requiring manufacturers and importers of tobacco products to disclose to governmental authorities information about the contents and emissions of tobacco products. Each Party shall further adopt and implement effective measures for public disclosure of information about the toxic constituents of the tobacco products and the emissions that they may produce.

Article 11: Packaging and labelling of tobacco products

  • Each Party shall, within a period of three years after entry into force of this Convention for that Party, adopt and implement, in accordance with its national law, effective measures to ensure that:
    • tobacco product packaging and labelling do not promote a tobacco product by any means that are false, misleading, deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions, including any term, descriptor, trademark, figurative or any other sign that directly or indirectly creates the false impression that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than other tobacco products. These may include terms such as “low tar”, “light”, “ultra-light”, or “mild”; and
    • each unit packet and package of tobacco products and any outside packaging and labelling of such products also carry health warnings describing the harmful effects of tobacco use, and may include other appropriate messages. These warnings and messages:
      • shall be approved by the competent national authority,
      • shall be rotating,
      • shall be large, clear, visible and legible,
      • should be 50% or more of the principal display areas but shall be no less than 30% of the principal display areas,
      • may be in the form of or include pictures or pictograms.
  • Each unit packet and package of tobacco products and any outside packaging and labelling of such products shall, in addition to the warnings specified in paragraph 1(b) of this Article, contain information on relevant constituents and emissions of tobacco products as defined by national authorities.
  • Each Party shall require that the warnings and other textual information specified in paragraphs 1(b) and paragraph 2 of this Article will appear on each unit packet and package of tobacco products and any outside packaging and labelling of such products in its principal language or languages.
  • For the purposes of this Article, the term “outside packaging and labelling” in relation to tobacco products applies to any packaging and labelling used in the retail sale of the product.

Article 12: Education, communication, training and public awareness

Each Party shall promote and strengthen public awareness of tobacco control issues, using all available communication tools, as appropriate. Towards this end, each Party shall adopt and implement effective legislative, executive, administrative or other measures to promote:

  • broad access to effective and comprehensive educational and public awareness programmes on the health risks including the addictive characteristics of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke;
  • public awareness about the health risks of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, and about the benefits of the cessation of tobacco use and tobacco-free lifestyles as specified in Article 14.2;
  • public access, in accordance with national law, to a wide range of information on the tobacco industry as relevant to the objective of this Convention;
  • effective and appropriate training or sensitization and awareness programmes on tobacco control addressed to persons such as health workers, community workers, social workers, media professionals, educators, decision-makers, administrators and other concerned persons;
  • awareness and participation of public and private agencies and nongovernmental organizations not affiliated with the tobacco industry in developing and implementing intersectoral programmes and strategies for tobacco control; and
  • public awareness of and access to information regarding the adverse health, economic, and environmental consequences of tobacco production and consumption.

Article 13: Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship

  • Parties recognize that a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship would reduce the consumption of tobacco products.
  • Each Party shall, in accordance with its constitution or constitutional principles, undertake a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. This shall include, subject to the legal environment and technical means available to that Party, a comprehensive ban on cross-border advertising, promotion and sponsorship originating from its territory. In this respect, within the period of five years after entry into force of this Convention for that Party, each Party shall undertake appropriate legislative, executive, administrative and/or other measures and report accordingly in conformity with Article 21.
  • A Party that is not in a position to undertake a comprehensive ban due to its constitution or constitutional principles shall apply restrictions on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. This shall include, subject to the legal environment and technical means available to that Party, restrictions or a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship originating from its territory with cross-border effects. In this respect, each Party shall undertake appropriate legislative, executive, administrative and/or other measures and report accordingly in conformity with Article 21.
  • As a minimum, and in accordance with its constitution or constitutional principles, each Party shall:
    • prohibit all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship that promote a tobacco product by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions;
    • require that health or other appropriate warnings or messages accompany all tobacco advertising and, as appropriate, promotion and sponsorship;
    • restrict the use of direct or indirect incentives that encourage the purchase of tobacco products by the public;
    • require, if it does not have a comprehensive ban, the disclosure to relevant governmental authorities of expenditures by the tobacco industry on advertising, promotion and sponsorship not yet prohibited. Those authorities may decide to make those figures available, subject to national law, to the public and to the Conference of the Parties, pursuant to Article 21;
    • undertake a comprehensive ban or, in the case of a Party that is not in a position to undertake a comprehensive ban due to its constitution or constitutional principles, restrict tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship on radio, television, print media and, as appropriate, other media, such as the internet, within a period of five years; and
    • prohibit, or in the case of a Party that is not in a position to prohibit due to its constitution or constitutional principles restrict, tobacco sponsorship of international events, activities and/or participants therein.
  • Parties are encouraged to implement measures beyond the obligations set out in paragraph 4.
  • Parties shall cooperate in the development of technologies and other means necessary to facilitate the elimination of cross-border advertising.
  • Parties which have a ban on certain forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship have the sovereign right to ban those forms of cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship entering their territory and to impose equal penalties as those applicable to domestic advertising, promotion and sponsorship originating from their territory in accordance with their national law. This paragraph does not endorse or approve of any particular penalty.
  • Parties shall consider the elaboration of a protocol setting out appropriate measures that require international collaboration for a comprehensive ban on cross-border advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Article 14: Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation

  • Each Party shall develop and disseminate appropriate, comprehensive and integrated guidelines based on scientific evidence and best practices, taking into account national circumstances and priorities, and shall take effective measures to promote cessation of tobacco use and adequate treatment for tobacco dependence.
  • Towards this end, each Party shall endeavour to:
    • design and implement effective programmes aimed at promoting the cessation of tobacco use, in such locations as educational institutions, health care facilities, workplaces and sporting environments;
    • include diagnosis and treatment of tobacco dependence and counselling services on cessation of tobacco use in national health and education programmes, plans and strategies, with the participation of health workers, community workers and social workers as appropriate;
    • establish in health care facilities and rehabilitation centres programmes for diagnosing, counselling, preventing and treating tobacco dependence; and
    • collaborate with other Parties to facilitate accessibility and affordability for treatment of tobacco dependence including pharmaceutical products pursuant to Article 22. Such products and their constituents may include medicines, products used to administer medicines and diagnostics when appropriate.
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