FCTC COP: A different perspective

From: JTI | News and Views

The WHO’s Conference of Parties (COP) to the FCTC has lost sight of its purpose. In recent years, secrecy and hidden agendas have corrupted this decision-making process.

The FCTC was adopted in 2003 with the aim to reduce tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Over the years, its focus has broadened to include topics that go way beyond its original intent. In parallel, a culture of secrecy and hidden agendas has grown during the COP sessions, not allowing for views which differ from the majority voices. At recent COPs, issues such as taxation, international trade, illegal trade, and even tobacco growing have been debated during proceedings where Parties mainly consisted of representatives of Ministries of Health. However, those who have expertise on such matters were denied an observer status from the discussions under the pretext that they had ties with the tobacco industry. At COP7, held in India in 2016, farmers from tobacco growing countries protested their exclusion from the meeting. The response was to bus them away from the venue. Any reasonable process would have involved the tobacco growers whose livelihoods depend on the crop being discussed in COP proceedings. Excluding them based on their relationship with tobacco companies is absurd. This is just one example of how utopic, narrow-minded viewpoints are being cheered by COP, while the expertise and legitimate concerns of all other stakeholders are being silenced.

So, what does the FCTC COP want to hide?

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The UAE’s digital approach to stamping out illicit trade

From: Retail Insight

For those observing the cigarette sector in the UAE in recent times, the recent announcement from the government that a new digital scheme for cigarette packs is to be introduced from 2019 should come as no real surprise.

In the wake of a 2017 GCC led doubling of the excise duty rate to 100%, there were calls for the government to be aware of the potential for increased sales of illicit whites to those consumers unable or unwilling to pay the significantly increased cost of a legally purchased pack of cigarettes. This is particularly the case given that illicit whites – usually imported from Iraq, Syria and Iran – already have a firm hold on the sector .

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‘Game-changing’ global pact against illicit tobacco trade kicks in

From: ChannelNewsAsia

GENEVA: A global pact to battle the illegal tobacco trade kicks in this week, with the World Health Organization hailing it as “game-changing” in eliminating widespread health-hazardous and criminal activity.

The treaty, which aims to create an international tracking and tracing system to halt the smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products, will take effect on Tuesday (Sep 25).

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Switzerland criticised for tobacco control treaty stance

From: Swissinfo.ch

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Conference sessions

Around 180 states are set to attend the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO FCTC (October 1-6), followed by the first session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (October 8-10).

The focus of the first conference will be on a medium-term strategic framework and priorities, cross-border advertising, the environmental impact of tobacco use and cultivation, as well as global progress on reducing smoking worldwide.

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Dealers in Illicit Tobacco Grow Ever More Arrogant

From: Le Parisian

Paris : le mystère de la carotte de Barbès levé

Cécile Beaulieu
Paris XVIIIe, le 15 septembre 2018. Dans la nuit une enseigne lumineuse siglée Tabac avait été fixée devant la station de métro Barb?s. Sans doute pour faire allusion aux incessantes vente de cigarettes de contrebande faites ici même quotidiennement. LP/Fred Dugit

Un collectif de street art serait à l’origine de l’installation de la carotte de buraliste, au beau milieu des vendeurs de cigarettes à la sauvette de Barbès (XVIIIe).

Un collectif de street art à l’origine de la « farce » de Barbès (XVIIIe) ? Samedi 15 septembre, au petit matin, habitants, passants et commerçants avaient eu la surprise de découvrir, scellé sur le mur du métro, haut lieu du trafic de cigarette de contrebande, une « carotte » de buraliste.

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