The 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) started in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
It is for the first time India is hosting COP meeting of FCTC. It is the world’s biggest convention on tobacco control policy in which 180 countries are participating.
It was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda and was attended by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
What is WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)?
- The FCTC is the world’s first public health treaty under the World Health Organisation (WHO).
- It provides a new legal dimension for international cooperation in healthcare in combating the tobacco epidemic.
- It has successfully helped to co-ordinate and energize the global struggle against tobacco. It is considered as one of the most widely embraced treaties in the history of WHO and UN.
- It is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health and was developed in response to globalization of tobacco epidemic.
- Under it, the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was adopted to address the increasing illegal trade in tobacco products in November 2012. Currently, it has 13 Parties and shall come in force 90 days after 40 Parties ratify it.
What is Conference of the Parties (COP)?
- The COP is the FCTC’s governing body and is comprised of all 180 Parties. The regular sessions of COP are held at two yearly intervals.
- It regularly reviews the implementation of the Convention and takes action to promote its effectiveness.
- Tobacco use kills around 6 million people a year globally and the cost to treat tobacco-related diseases is whopping $22 billion.
- In case of India, there are nearly 275 million tobacco users and close to one million deaths every year due to its direct or indirect use.
Preventive steps taken
- India is pushing for stricter control on smokeless tobacco. In India, implementation of 85% pictorial warnings on cigarette packets has been mandatory.
- The new Juvenile Justice Act makes sale of tobacco products to minors punishable offence with 7 years of rigorous imprisonment.