God i thank u 4 2day..

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"The Conference Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. Olayinka blogs
  2. Next conference blogs in October, in Basel and Taipei
  3. Highlights of the FCTC COP2
  4. All the articles published in the Alliance Bulletins during COP2
  5. Tobacco pack warnings Vietnam has yet to get it right!
  6. More Recent Articles

Olayinka blogs

God i thank u 4 2day..

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Next conference blogs in October, in Basel and Taipei

After the positive  experience of this collective blog during the COP2 conference in Bangkok, we have decided to conference blog again during the 4th European Conference on Tobacco or Health that is taking place in Basel, October 11-13  and during the 8th Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health in Taipei, October 17-20.

So please, if you plan to attend those conferences and feel like blogging, contact me :).

If you are not attending, subscribe to the blogs and you'll get fresh news as if you were there.

Last, if you are planning a conference and would like our help to have a conference blog, contact me :)

    

Highlights of the FCTC COP2

The second session of the Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC COP2), Bankok, ended Friday 6 July 2007 after a week long series of negotiations and decision making regarding the implementation of the treaty.

In sum, the Conference of the Parties decided to:

1. Adopt the strong guidelines on protection from exposure to tobacco smoke. (Article 8)

2. Establish an open ended intergovernmental negotiation body (INB) to draft and negotiate a protocol on illicit trade. (Article 15).

3. Establish a working group to elaborate guidelines on Article 11 (packaging and labeling of tobacco products).

4. Mandate the study group on economically sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing to continue its work and submit a report to COP3. (Article 17)

5. Establish a working group to elaborate guidelines for the implementation of Article 5.3 (tobacco industry interference)

6. Request the working group working on regulation of contents of tobacco products (Article 9) to continue its work, extending its mandate to Article 10 (product disclosure) and including product characteristics such as design features.

7. Establish a working group to elaborate guidelines on Article 12 (education, communication, training and public awareness)

8. Request the Secretariat, in consultation with Parties interested in the issue, to elaborate a first report on tobacco dependence and cessation (Article 14)

9. Establish a working group mandated to elaborate comprehensive draft guidelines on domestic and cross border advertising as well as to recommend key elements of a protocol on cross border advertising, promotion and sponsorship. (Article 13)

10. Mandate the Secretariat with support from TFI and guided by the bureau, to revise the format of the questionnaire for Group 1 questions while maintaining the content; to elaborate a draft of Group 2 questions; and to revise the format of the questionnaire so as to address, among other things, the development of indicators to measure gender sensitive policies.

11. Adopt the total budget of US$ 8,010,000 for the COP for the financial period 2008- 2009.

12. Adopt a work plan and to authorize the Secretariat to receive voluntary extra budgetary contributions in line with the work plan.

13. Ask the Secretariat to actively seek extra-budgetary contributions from Parties and other international donors to help Parties in need to carry out needs assessments and develop project and programme proposals for financial assistance.

14. Invite the WHO Director-General to support the Secretariat in assisting Parties in need to develop project and program proposals for financial assistance from all available funding sources.

15. Have South Africa host the 3rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, in 2008.

    

All the articles published in the Alliance Bulletins during COP2

Since the pdf format does not allow you to see right away the content of each bulletin we thought it could be useful to provide you with a list of all the articles published in each Alliance Bulletin during COP2.
You'll also find links to the ones that have been published on this blog.

The Alliance Bulletin #71
Congratulations on a job well done!   (p.1)
La CCLAT et les efforts antitabac au Burkina Faso  (p.2)
Interferencia de la industria tabacalera: el caso de Peru  (p.2)
Free trade and tobacco: a deadly marriage  (p.3)
FCTC helps spark progress in Armenia  (p.3)
Package warnings: progress continues worldwide (p.4)
Pack warnings: will India "walk the talk" after 4 years of talking?  (p.4)
Just a reminder about Article 15  (p.4)
Comprendre et exploiter les documents internes de l'industrie du tabac: une nouvelle base d'accès aux données en français  (p.5)
Industry disregards FCTC in Nepal  (p.6)
Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco love Thais more than Filipinos  (p.6) also on this blog
How Iran got a tobacco control law  (p.7)
A note from the Editor  (p.7)
Financial resources - what more can be done?  (p.8)

The Alliance Bulletin #70  (pdf link)
Important decision on illicit tobacco trade  (p.1)
Progress also made on Article 13 (p.1)
It's a country...it's a holiday experience... no, it's just a cigarette brand!  (p.2)
Recrudescence de la publicité sur le tabac au Cameroun  (p.2)
L'industrie du tabac a de beaux jours au Sénégal si ... (p.2)
Ratificacion e Implementacion del CMCTen la Region Centroamericana  (p.3)
Tobacco pack warnings: Vietnam has yet to get it right! (p.4)
Lithunania's need for a strong illicit trade protocol (p.5)
Strike while the iron is hot (in Sri Lanka) (p.5)
Pacific States: Leading the way on FCTC implementation (p.6
En Espana, el sector de la hosteleria impone la ley del tabaco (p.7)
Findings on Secondhand Smoke from United States v. Philip Morris  (p.7)
Tracking Committee B Average Morale Personal Morale Vary (p.8)

The Alliance Bulletin #69  (pdf link)
Product Regulation: a tricky task best not left to the tobacco industry  (p.1)
Mexico cancela total y deinitivamente su acuedo con la industria tabacalera  (p.2) also here
L'industrie du tabac fait son cinéma  (p.3)
Tobacco Industry interferes with FCTC implementation: the case of the Philippines  (p.4)
How Sri Lanka is progressing (p.5)
Food for thought: Tobacco is not edible and shouldn't be marketed as food  (p.6)
How treatment fits into tobacco control (p.6)
¿Cómo se logró que Uruguay cambiara tanto?   (p.7)  also on this blog
A testimony of success: MK restaurants  (p.8)

The Alliance Bulletin #68 (pdf link)
World Customs Organization backs call for protocol  (p.1) (also on this blog)
New Zealand may ban cigarette displays (p.2)
Tanzanian FCTC ratification: tobacco farmers to the rescue (p.2)
Con una de cal y otra de arena, avanza Panama en la implementation del CNCP (p.3) also here
Sad news from Portugal (p.4)
Introducing picture based health warnings on cigarette packages in the Caribbean (p.5) (also on this blog)
National 100% smokefree restaurants legislations (p.6)
Au pays des 365 fromages, on respire! (p.7)
Tobacco industry finds ways around Ukrainian law  (p.8)

The Alliance Bulletin #67 (pdf link)
What price a protocol? The tax revenue lost from just two smuggled cigarette containers in the EU (Deborah Arnott)
Innovation publicitaire en France (Emmanuelle Beguinot)
Africa must unite (Adeola Akinremi) also on the conference blog
Fighting Big Tobacco in Nigeria sets the pace (Olayinka Oyegbile)
Adopt the Article 8 guidelines for protection from tobacco-smoke (Doug Blanke) also on the conference blog
Argentina queda afuera (Veronica Schoj)
Progress in Nepal (Shanta Lall Mulmi)
Should work on alternatives to tobacco growing continue under the auspices of the COP?

The Alliance Buttletin #66 (pdf link)
Not just another meeting (p.1)
Sociedad civil mexicana reporta (p.2/3)
Packing galore in Malaysia (p.4/5) also on this blog
Le Cameroun, paradis pour BAT? (p.5) also on this blog
England falls in line as the UK goes smokefree (p.6)
Supreme Court Judgement in Canada (p.6)
How inaction in Paraguay on illicit trade is hurting Brazil, in violation of FCTC (p.7)
Fondly remembered: Judy Wilkenfeld (p.8)

    

Tobacco pack warnings Vietnam has yet to get it right!

Sounds Familiar??

Vietnam Tobacco Industry’s (VINATABA) reasons why Vietnam cannot have picture-based pack warnings.

Excerpts from VINATABA’s presentation at the Workshop on Development of New Health Warnings, July 3, 2006

• Most countries in the world are using text-only health warnings, not pictorial ones. We are a poor developing country with outdated production technology and uncontrollable cigarette smuggling.

• Printing pictorial health warnings will be costly for the tobacco industry.

• Cigarette package area is quite small. We have to print many other information on the pack, including brand name, name and address of the tobacco company, quantity and quality, date of manufacturing and obey the regulation of stamping on cigarette package. Printing colourful pictorial health warnings will give us difficulties in designing and arranging all the information.

• Our current printing machines are not modern enough to print colourful pictorial health warnings.

• It is estimated that cost for the printing will be 60VND/pack x 2.5 billion packs/year = 150 billion VND/ year. We have no money investing in the printing.

It was the proverbial slip between the cup and the lip for Vietnamese tobacco control as the directives on pack warnings in the Prime Ministerial Instruction were released in May this year.

Vietnam’s Tobacco Control Working Group and activists have long been demanding picture-based, rotational pack warnings occupying 50% of the front and back of tobacco packs.

The decision of the Ministry of Health in January this year appeared to be a stepping stone in their journey as it
required rotational warnings on 30% of front and back of packs, with the option for pictures.

The decree made room to consider mandatory pictures by 2010.

However, the recent Prime Ministerial Instruction, which superseded the health authority’s decision, undermined the FCTC.

Warnings suggest uncertainly that “Smoking Can Cause Cancer”, with no pictures in sight!

The notion of rotational warnings also seems to have faded away.

This decree mirrors proposals from the Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation (VINATABA).

The Tobacco Corporation proposed the ambiguous, text-only warning, to come into effect after 2008.

Apparently the company contributes about 3% to the total state budget annually.

Obviously, the annual social cost for treatment of three common diseases caused by smok- ing (lung cancer, heart attack and COPD) of 804 billion dongs (US$50.2 million), accounting for 18% of the country’s total health costs, has been overlooked.

Equally ignored are the voices of Vietnamese consumers who were strongly in favour of clear health warnings on tobacco packaging in a survey conducted by Vietnam Standards and Consumers Association in August 2006.

Text-only warnings occupying 30% or 50% pack space were considered ineffective by more than a quarter of the respondents. Notably smokers too showed a similar preference.

Vietnam’s state-regulated media contributed by way of 50 supportive reports on pack warnings in 2006 alone.

The only negative report identified in the local media monitoring was, no doubt, in a tobacco industry magazine.

It is frustrating when the State, the custodian of national welfare, consumer protection and public health, undermines clear con- sumer will and public mandate in exchange for transient gains for industry groups.

Vietnam is a party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

At least 14 other Parties have finalized requirements for picture warnings in keeping with their FCTC commitment and affording basic consumer rights to their citizens.

And many more are in the process of doing so. Vietnam has yet to get it right and the country has only eight months left to live up to the spirit of its FCTC obligation on pack warnings by 17 March 2008.

Will tobacco industry succeed in continuing to deprive Vietnam of picture-based warnings on its tobacco packs?

The international community is closely watching to see if the will of Vietnamese consumers prevails and pictures take their rightful place on their tobacco packs.

Tran Thi Kieu Thanh Ha
Shoba John
HealthBridge

Article initially published in the Alliance Bulletin #70 (p.4/5) (pdf link)

    

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