Global tobacco control rules extended to Channel Islands
THE World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control has been formally extended by the United Kingdom to Guernsey and Jersey.
The framework is the world’s first global public health treaty. It is a legally binding one, which was developed in response to the globalisation of the tobacco-related disease epidemic and came into force in 2005.
It has been described as a blueprint for ending the death and disease caused by tobacco and is based on scientific evidence and best practice.
Health & Social Care president Heidi Soulsby 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 healthcare 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.’
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 advertising, promotion and sponsorship beyond national borders, and illicit trade in tobacco products.
For the UK to extend the treaty, Guernsey and Jersey have had to demonstrate that, as a minimum, they complied with, and had political commitment to, three time-bound articles.
These are: Article 8 (compliance required from day one of UK extension) – protection from exposure to tobacco smoke; Article 11 (compliance required within three years entry) – tobacco product packaging; and Article 13 (compliance required within five years entry) – bans on tobacco advertising.
Both islands have policies and regulations in place that already comply with the required articles.
Both will also participate in regular reporting to ensure that compliance is maintained.
Guernsey and Jersey also say that they will work with international partners on further evidenced-based approaches to reduce tobacco-related harm in our communities.