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Australia's signing of International Tobacco Treaty another step forward for Smokefree pubs

Monday 29 September, 2003

Quit Victoria says Australia's signing of a global tobacco treaty has implications for the introduction of bans on smoking in pubs and clubs in Victoria.

Federal Government announced last week that it will sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which is the first global health treaty of any kind. Australia will join more than 60 countries that have already signed the treaty and signalled their in-principle support for the measures outlined in the treaty. The next step for those countries who have signed is to ratify the treaty, which will become legally binding once 40 countries proceed to ratify it. At this stage, Norway is the only country to have ratified the treaty.

Quit Victoria Executive Director Todd Harper says nations who ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will have key obligations to address a range of issues including:

  • protecting non-smokers from tobacco smoke in workplaces and public places;
  • eliminating all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
  • ensuring health warnings on cigarette packs take up ideally 50 percent or more of every pack of cigarettes,
  • prohibiting misleading terms to describe cigarettes such as ""light"" and ""mild"";
  • stricter regulation of tobacco product contents.

“The announcement that Australia will sign this important international treaty gives further impetus to ensure all indoor workplaces in Victoria become smokefree – including bars and pubs.”

“The Australian Government has been a strong supporter of this important international initiative, and we urge the Government to take the next step and formally ratify the Framework Convention,” Mr Harper said.

“In addition, if Australia proceeds to ratify the treaty, measures like placing cigarettes under the counter will also be on the agenda, as the treaty will require signatories to remove all forms of tobacco advertising.”

“The signing of this treaty is yet another important step towards smokefree workplaces for all workers, including those in the hospitality industry.”

“With the irrefutable and overwhelming evidence now available on the harmful effects of passive smoking, it can only be a matter of time before all workers are protected from tobacco smoke in their workplaces.”

-ends-

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control can be viewed online at http://tobacco.who.int/

Further information:
Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager

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