Editorials

The world's first international tobacco control treaty

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7369.846 (Published 19 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:846

Leading nations may thwart this major event

  1. Anna B Gilmore, research fellow. (anna.gilmore@lshtm.ac.uk),
  2. Jeff Collin, lecturer. (jeff.collin@lshtm.ac.uk)
  1. European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition
  2. Centre on Global Change and Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine WC1E 7HT

    Negotiators from the World Health Organization's 191 member states meet in Geneva this week in an attempt to agree the world's first international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.1 This legally binding treaty would aim to establish principles and guidelines for international tobacco control. It follows a similar format to the 1992 United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change and its related protocols such as that signed in Kyoto in 1997. The development of a framework convention on tobacco is important because it is the first time in its history that the WHO has used its treaty making powers. And in the growing debate around trade and health it provides an opportunity to ensure that health is given primacy over commercial considerations when it comes to trade in a product that kills one in every two of its long term users.2

    A global tobacco control treaty is now essential because the tobacco industry's use of international trade agreements, cigarette smuggling, 3 4 and global marketing techniques has undermined national …

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