Legislation is at the heart of effective tobacco control. It institutionalizes and makes binding a country's commitment for tobacco control, creates focus for tobacco control activity and regulates private and public conduct in ways in which informal or voluntary measures cannot. The enactment of legislation has its challenges and these include the lack of awareness of the tobacco problem among the public and policy makers, the lack of human, technical and other capacity, infrastructure and resources and continuing opposition of the tobacco industry and its affiliates and allies. It is important to counter this opposition, and success requires a strong and continual political commitment throughout the life of the legislation. Furthermore, the success of a legislation will depend on its effective implementation, enforcement and compliance mechanisms, supported by financial and technical resources, political support and educational and awareness raising strategies.
Fortunately, with the development and entry into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC ) and the realization by WHO Member States of the pivotal role of legislation, many countries are now at various stages of enacting their legislation for tobacco control. Since there are many countries with solid scientific evidence-based legislation for tobacco control, countries can draw upon such experiences and best practices and adapt it to meet their own varying national systems and needs. WHO and its partners have also developed a number of resources that can be accessed from WHO websites and other sources. More detailed information is provided in the links below.
- Importance of Legislation
- The Legislative process and forms of Legislation for tobacco control
- Other key issues relating to the legislative process
- Key Elements of Tobacco Control Legislation
- The drafting, passing, adoption, implementation and evaluation of tobacco
- Implementation and enforcement of Tobacco Control Legislation
- Country case studies on enforcement of tobacco control legislation
- WHO publication, "Tobacco Control Legislation: An introductory Guide
- Selected Publications and other Resources