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International tobacco control

Australia has long been recognised as a leader in tobacco control.

Australia has long been recognised as a leader in tobacco control and Quit Victoria’s expertise is often called upon by other organisations in the Western Pacific Region to progress tobacco control in other countries. Quit Victoria assists with advice on a diverse range of areas such as policy, cessation programs and mass media.

Sharing of experience, evidence and expertise amongst countries has become increasingly important. Tobacco companies themselves, as well as the tactics they use to sell their products, are multi-national and impact globally.

In response to this globalisation of the tobacco epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health.

The FCTC was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. Governments who ratify the treaty are known as ‘Parties’ to the treaty. The FCTC now has more than 180 Parties of which Australia is one. Under the treaty, Parties commit to a range of tobacco control measures dealing with demand reduction (for example, tobacco tax and smokefree environments), supply reduction (for example, sales to minors and illicit trade) and international cooperation (sharing of information and expertise).

A number of guidelines have been negotiated under the FCTC which aim to assist Parties in implementing these measures. These include, among others, guidelines on tobacco industry interference, advertising, promotion and sponsorship and smokefree areas. For a full list of adopted guidelines, see the WHO FCTC website.

Last updated September 2022.

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