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World Medical Association [WMA]
International Council of Nurses (ICN)
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

 

World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA)

World’s Health Professions Celebrate Adoption of
Global Anti-Tobacco Treaty

First Global Public Health Treaty Tackles Tobacco Head On

GENEVA, Switzerland, 2 March 2005 - The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), bringing together the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the World medical Association (WMA) applauded the official coming into force on 27 February of the World Health Organization (WHO) global anti-tobacco treaty, known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).  On behalf of the 20 million nurses, pharmacists and physicians working worldwide, WHPA commended the WHO and the national governments of the signatory countries on this first ever, global public health treaty – a breakthrough for global health.

WHPA is calling on health professionals and their associations to pressure governments of those countries that are signatories to the Agreement to move forward quickly with implementation.  Equally, health professionals in countries that have not yet ratified the WHO FCTC should lobby their governments to do so.

Fifty-seven countries have ratified the Agreement.  Its provisions will now be legally binding for signatories, giving governments a framework for action, laws and regulations in fighting the tobacco epidemic.  For example, signatory countries will have three years from the day the WHO FCTC enters into force for that country to implement measures ensuring tobacco packaging has strong health warnings, or five years to establish comprehensive tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans, among others.  The Agreement also has provisions that set international standards on tobacco price and tax increases, illicit trade and second-hand smoke.

Tobacco is the second leading cause of death globally, causing nearly five million deaths a year.  Estimates show that it will prematurely kill ten million people a year by 2020 if current trends are not reversed.  Tobacco is the only legal product that causes the death of half of its regular users.  This means that out of 1.3 billion smokers, 650 million people will die prematurely.

 

Editor’s Note:

The WHO FCTC was unanimously adopted by the 56th World Health Assembly in May 2003. The WHO FCTC closed for signature on 29 June 2004 with 168 signatories (including the European Community). The first 40 Contracting Parties to the WHO FCTC were Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Qatar, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

Since 30 November 2004, the following have also deposited the instrument of ratification or equivalent: Botswana, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, Spain, Timor-Leste, Turkey, United Kingdom and Viet Nam.

World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA)

The World Health Professions Alliance brings together medicine, nursing and pharmacy through their representative international organisations, International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the World Medical Association (WMA) and represents more than 20 million health professionals worldwide.

 

The World Health Professions Alliance brings together medicine, nursing and pharmacy through their representative international organisations, International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the World Medical Association (WMA) and represents more than 20 million health professionals worldwide.

 

  • The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of 125 national nurses' associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide.  Operated by nurses for nurses since 1899, ICN is the international voice of nursing and works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

  • The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the worldwide federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Pharmacists are health care professionals dedicated to improving access to and value of appropriate medicine use worldwide.   

  • The World Medical Association (WMA) is a global federation of national medical associations, representing the millions of physicians worldwide.  Acting on behalf of physicians and patients, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical science, education, ethics and health care for all people.

 

For further information contact Linda Carrier-Walker Tel :  +41 22  908 0100;
fax :   +41 22  908 0101;  email:  ; Web site  www.icn.ch 

PR/05 #04

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