I reported very recently on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) sixth Conference of the Parties (COP6) meeting. The meeting was heavily criticised, not only on the veil of secrecy that surrounded the meetings, where only certain people were admitted, but also the outcomes. Their recommendations include and I quote:
- Proposals for regulation of smokeless tobacco and water pipe products
- Recommendations for entry into force of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products
- Continuing to work on Article 19 on liability of tobacco companies
- Articles 17 and 18 principles addressing sustainable alternative livelihoods for tobacco growers
- Trade and investment issues related to FCTC implementation
- Assessment of the Convention’s impact on tobacco epidemic
Additionally a global, standard tobacco tax is envisaged with the logic “higher taxes usually lead to higher prices, which in turn lead to lower consumption.” Although they appear to have dropped the 70 percent tax level which would have seen a pack rise to $30, it was also not helped when at the Press Conference the Russian Deputy Health Minister declined to be the torch bearer and increase taxes.
The Articles refer to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control where nearly all the world’s countries plus the European Union agree to a set of standards on reducing smoking and nicotine consumption
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