Monday 11 November 2019
The World Health Organisation's Framework Convention for Tobacco Control has been formally extended by the United Kingdom to Guernsey and Jersey today, marking a significant milestone in tobacco control for the Islands.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the world's first global public health treaty. It is a legally binding treaty, which was developed in response to the globalisation of the tobacco related disease epidemic and entered into force in 2005. The FCTC has been described as a blueprint for ending the death and disease caused by tobacco and is based on scientific evidence and best practice.
Around 180 Parties (countries or states) are signatories to the Convention. The aim is to tackle some of the causes of the tobacco epidemic which include complex factors with cross-border effects, such as tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship beyond national borders, and illicit trade in tobacco products.
In order for the UK to extend the treaty, both Guernsey and Jersey have had to demonstrate that, as a minimum, they complied with, and had political commitment to, three time-bound articles, namely:
- Article 8 (compliance required from day 1 of UK extension) - Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke
- Article 11 (compliance required within 3 years entry) - Tobacco product packaging
- Article 13 (compliance required within 5 years entry) - Bans on tobacco advertising
Both Guernsey and Jersey take this commitment seriously, and currently have policies and regulations in place that already comply with the required articles. Both Islands will also participate in regular reporting to ensure that we maintain our compliance and work with international partners in considering and implementing further evidenced based approaches to reduce tobacco related harm in our communities.
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care in Guernsey, said:
"The control of tobacco use is essential for countries worldwide. Tobacco can have devastating health consequences but, importantly, also impacts on a country's economy through increased health-care costs and decreased productivity. This treaty emphasises Guernsey's commitment to implement evidence-based measures to reduce tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. This will protect present and future generations from the negative health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco use."
Deputy Richard Renouf, Minster for Health and Social Services in Jersey, commented that:
"I'm pleased/proud to announce that we have been recognised, alongside our sister Island in Guernsey, as having tobacco control policies in place that take the harm that tobacco causes to our Islands and Islanders very seriously. This treaty and its broad international partnership is highly regarded and is an exemplar of the importance of working together both across government administrations as well as within and across our own government departments to achieve improved health and wellbeing. Health really is everyone's business and I look forward to strengthening tobacco control with the support of this treaty through our Government of Jersey Tobacco Strategy".