United States is now ready to ratify the WHO FCTC

July 5, 2009 - United States is now ready to ratify the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) public health treaty.

With legislation to strengthen tobacco regulation now signed into law, public health groups are pushing for the Senate to ratify a treaty on tobacco control that has languished for five years.

Though the United States signed the treaty in May 2004, President George W. Bush never submitted it for approval by the Senate, the final step in the process.
The tobacco treaty took effect for the nations that ratified it in February 2005.

The WHO FCTC is the first global health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. This convention is an evidence-based treaty that includes measures related to reducing demand for tobacco (e.g. price and taxation, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke, product regulation, education, restrictions on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship), as well as measures related to the supply of tobacco (e.g., illicit trade, sales to minors).

To date, more than 160 countries have ratified the FCTC. It's time for the USA to take an active role.

Reference: Health groups back tobacco treaty by James R. Carroll, Louisville Courier-Journal, 7/3/2009.