This past June, taking another step toward eradicating tobacco-related deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the first treaty designed to douse cigarette smoking on an international scale. During the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Geneva, Switzerland, many European and African nations signed the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI). As we go to press with this issue, 46 countries have signed the TFI, but not the United States and China, both large producers of tobacco products.
The TFI proposes the following actions, some of which have already been in place for some time in the United States:
- a ban on TV advertising/sponsorships by tobacco companies
- warning labels on tobacco products
- enactment/enforcement of strict indoor air laws
- high taxes on tobacco products
- a crackdown on cigarette smuggling
To see if your country has signed the TFI, go to www.who.int/tobacco/fctc/signing_ceremony/country_list/en/.