The World Health Organization : A Global Public Health Treaty

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Overview of the FCTC The World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a global public health treaty, developed in response to the globalisation of the “Tobacco epidemic”, that entered into force in the February of 2005 (World Health Organisation, 2015). As outlined in the convention itself, the aim of the FCTC is to “...protect present and future generations from the devastating... consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure” (WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 2005). The FCTC was conceived within a milieu of significant tobacco usage; in 2005, there were more than 1.25 billion smokers worldwide (Roemer, Taylor & Lariviere, 2005). The origins of the FCTC lie in a push for the WHO to employ its constitutional powers to establish international conventions with a view to advance global health, particularly related to tobacco use. Having first been conceptualised in 1993, this proposal was delivered to the WHO by Roemer and Taylor in 1995. In 1996, the World Health Assembly voted for its development to proceed (Roemer et al., 2005). The framework was adopted by consensus in 2003, before entering into force in 2005 (WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 2005). The FCTC has seen seen success in ensuring an international response to the tobacco epidemic, with 180 parties to the convention as of 2015 (‘Parties to the WHO Framework ', 2016), although questions remain about their compliance (Kebede-Francis, 2011). Between
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