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Summary of Treaty

Official Title WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Type of Agreement Multilateral
Place of Signature Geneva
Date of Signature 21/05/2003
Date of Entry Into Force 27/02/2005
Duration Indefinite
Agreement Suspension Justification
Objective of Agreement
To protect present and future generations from the consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke by providing a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented by the Parties at national, regional and international levels. This will make for a sustained reduction in the levels of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
This legally binding treaty gives nations powerful new tools to protect the health of their citizens from the tobacco industry’s deceptions and slick marketing. The treaty commits countries to: • Ban all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (with an exception for nations with constitutional constraints); • Place large, graphic health warnings on cigarette packs; • Implement measures to protect non-smokers from second hand smoke; • Increase the price of tobacco products, which reduces smoking among both youth and adults; • Combat cigarette smuggling; • Regulate the content of tobacco products. The principal characteristics of the Convention are as follows: * Labelling (Article 11): at least 30% - but ideally 50% or more - of the principal faces of the packing of a tobacco product are covered with clear health warnings presented in the form of a text, in the form of drawings or in the form of a combination of the two. The regulations concerning packing and labelling should also prohibit any misleading indication which gives the erroneous impression that a tobacco product is less harmful than another. Terms such as "light", "ultra light" or "with low tar yield" to designate the cigarette would constitute, according to the Convention, misleading indications; * Publicity (Article 13): the parties have to establish a comprehensive ban of publicity within the 5 years which follow the entry into force of the Convention. It also stipulates that the countries which cannot establish a comprehensive ban for reasons of respect of the freedom of expression, are required to require restrictions on any tobacco advertising and on any promotion or any sponsorship of tobacco, in compliance with their constitution or constitutional principles; * Taxation (Article 6): the text recognises formally that the tax and financial measures constitute an important means of reducing tobacco consumption, in particular among young people. It forces therefore the signatories to take account of tax policies and of pricing policies encouraging the smokers no longer to buy tobacco products; * Responsibility (Article 19): parts are encouraged to take legislative measures, if necessary, on civil criminal liability, including compensation with respect to the victims for smoking; * Financing (Article 26): parties are required to grant financial support for their national programmes of tobacco control. Moreover, the text encourages use and the promotion of the sources of finance for the purposes of programmes of tobacco control. Illicit trade (Article 15): the text recognises that the elimination of smuggling, of illicit manufacture and of the counterfeit of tobacco products, and the adoption of an effective system of follow-up and of tracing of these products, and the implementation of national legislation in this area constitute essential aspects of tobacco control. He asks therefore the parties to take appropriate measures in this direction. The text also requests the parties to promote programmes aiming to help persons to stop smoking (Article 14) and to implement education programmes (Article 12) to dissuade people to start to smoke, to envisage the prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to the miners (Article 16) and to limit the exhibition to smoke (Article 8) of others. It should be noticed that several fields covered by the Convention are already covered by Community instruments.
See two Protocols (OJ L333 of 12/12/2013, p. 73 and 75) in View Other Relevant Treaty Information.
OJ Reference L213, 15/06/2004, p. 9
Depositary United Nations
Contracting Parties European Community, Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen
Authentic Texts Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Subject Matters Consumers
Entry into force conditions Article 36 Convention
Ratification Conditions Article 35 Convention
Regional and International Organisation (REIO) Article 34 Convention
Settlement of disputes Article 27 Convention
Date of Signature 16/06/2003
Conclusion Date 30/06/2005
Ratification Status AC
Conclusion Decision Council Decision of 2 June 2004 concerning the conclusion of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; OJ L213 of 15/06/2004, p.8
Date of Entry Into Force 30/06/2005
Reserves A declaration of EU competence exists for this treaty. To consult the text click on "to load all the summary data of the treaty".
Competence Mixed
Voting Right(s)
EC exercises voting rights of its MS contracting parties (if EC votes MS no and vice-versa) Article 32 Convention
Financial Provision of Agreement
Legal Basis Treaty EC: Article 152
Treaty EC: Article 95
General Comments

Last Update :   30/01/2014