244884 U.S. and Global Public Health: Should the U.S. Ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control?

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:10 PM

Kelle Louaillier , Corporate Accountability International, Boston, MA
In May 2003, the World Health Assembly adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The FCTC is an evidence-based treaty reaffirming the right of all people to the highest standard of health. It represents a milestone for the promotion of public health while providing new legal dimensions for international health cooperation and is one of the most widely embraced treaties in the history of the United Nations.

Today, 171 countries have ratified, protecting more than 85% of the world's population from the actions of the tobacco industry. However, despite signing the FCTC, the U.S. never ratified the treaty and lags in the international coordination of tobacco control efforts.

The U.S. advanced tobacco control policies with the passage of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which authorized the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the tobacco industry, laying the groundwork for U.S. ratification by bringing national tobacco control policies into compliance with some FCTC measures. For example, the recent proposal rules on graphic tobacco health warning labels comply with the treaty guidelines.

International health professionals and tobacco control advocates continue to note the U.S. absence from the FCTC. Corporate Accountability International plays a key role in the advancement of the FCTC and will present the prospects for U.S. ratification, including an analysis of the advantages and potential disadvantages. The presentation will also evaluate the U.S. political landscape and determine the opportunities for potential ratification.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the history of U.S. involvement with the FCTC and engagement in global tobacco control policies. Analyze the potential impact of U.S. FCTC ratification, including the advantages and disadvantages, for the short and long term. Evaluate the possibilities and determine opportunities for U.S. FCTC ratification.

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee a campaign challenging the tobacco industry and advocating for stronger international tobacco policies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.