Turkmenistan to implement WHO tobacco legislation

On 27 March 2011, the Parliament of Turkmenistan unanimously approved and passed a resolution on the country’s accession to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

This demonstrates Turkmenistan’s political commitment to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. The WHO FCTC provides new legal dimensions for international health cooperation and is a powerful tool for governments, nongovernmental organizations and the general public that underlines all people's right to the highest standard of health and provides evidence-based answers to the tobacco epidemic.

As Parties to the WHO FCTC, countries have an obligation to implement a range of measures that make tobacco use less attractive to people, translating its general provisions into national laws and regulations. This includes enforcing smoke-free legislation to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke, telling people about the dangers of tobacco, not selling tobacco to minors, quitting tobacco and/or helping people to quit, and much more.

Final approval of the ratification of the WHO FCTC is pending the agreement of the President. Following this, Turkmenistan then has three years from the day it becomes a Party to implement measures to ensure that tobacco packaging has strong health warnings, and five years to establish comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, among others.

In the WHO European Region, 46 countries (out of 53) and the European Community are now Parties. Andorra, the Czech Republic, Monaco, Switzerland, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have not yet signed the treaty, and Turkmenistan has now announced its political will to ratify.