WHO issues anti-tobacco treaty text

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) has released the draft of a treaty text for the planned Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The text, which has been formulated by Brazil's UN Ambassador Luiz Felipe de Seixas Correa, who has been leading the negotiations, runs to 22 pages and concentrates on controlling global tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship while also trying to address the issues of illicit trade in tobacco products, tobacco taxes and agricultural diversification to help farmers switch to other products.

The treaty text will be discussed at the next WHO meeting in Geneva on October 14. It is hoped that the treaty will be adopted in May 2003. If it is the FIA has said that it will ban all tobacco advertising in motorsport from the end of 2006.

If it is successful this will be the first international treaty created by the WHO, which made tobacco its priority after the organization was taken over by Norwegian Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland

The draft treaty commits ratifying countries to "adopt and implement effective legislative to reduce, with the view to gradually eliminating the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products."

It is worth noting that the United States of America is opposed to the advertising ban which it says is unconstitutional.

The attempt to create an international treaty outside the political arena is an interesting one and we can see the FIA trying a similar idea in the future to create better international coordination of automobile-related issues.

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