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The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control [WHO FCTC] 7th Conference of the Parties [COP7] met in New Delhi, India, 7 - 12 November. Delegates from 180 countries plus non-governmental organisations with official observer status, including The Union, attended.

Twelve years ago Gustavo Sóñora was hired as legal counsel for Miguel Asqueta, the congressman charged with authoring Uruguay’s first national tobacco control law. The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control [WHO FCTC] negotiations had just been completed and Uruguay became one of the first countries to ratify the treaty.

The Union launches the Index of Tobacco Control Sustainability to assess and guide national tobacco control programmes to become sustainable, complementing WHO FCTC processes:

First round reports reveal countries commonly lack measures to protect public health policy from tobacco industry interference [WHO FCTC Article 5.3].

The Index of Tobacco Control Sustainability (ITCS) has been launched by The Union to assist countries to assess and guide national tobacco control programmes to become sustainable. It is the first tool of its kind. A first round of Index assessments – from 24 countries with the highest burden of tobacco use – have been published alongside the ITCS.

Tobacco industry interference in public health policy was a theme common to all three presentations in this year’s tobacco control plenary: from the opportunities offered to the industry by e-cigarettes, to lobby groups delaying life-saving health policy in Brazil, to the aggressive targeting of young people in Africa.

China’s state-owned tobacco corporation is rapidly expanding its operations globally. It currently supplies 40 percent of the world’s cigarettes – a figure that is set to grow if current trends continue.

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