WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control provides a global response to a global problem – namely, the tobacco epidemic. It is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms all people's right to the highest standard of health. The WHO FCTC is a milestone in the promotion of public health and provides new legal dimensions for international health cooperation.

It is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. The WHO FCTC was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. Since its entry into force in 2005, this international treaty has become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in United Nations (UN) history. To date, 180 countries globally have ratified the WHO FCTC, including 50 WHO European Member States. 

Over the last decade, the WHO FCTC has succeeded in keeping tobacco control high on the global agenda, while saving lives and improving global health. Measures outlined in the WHO FCTC emphasize the importance of using an approach that aims to minimize both tobacco demand and supply through a variety of measures. There is strong evidence that these measures effectively protect adults and children, equally, from smoking initiation and tobacco-related harm. 

The WHO FCTC asserts the importance of strategies to reduce both demand and supply, and provides a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented at the national, regional and international levels. This includes actions to:

  • Protect public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry (Article 5.3)
  • Adopt price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco (Article 6)
  • Protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke (Article 8)
  • Regulate the contents of tobacco products (Article 9)
  • Regulate tobacco product disclosures (Article 10)
  • Regulate the packaging and labelling of tobacco products (Article 11)
  • Warn people about the dangers of tobacco (Article 12)
  • Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13)
  • Offer people help to end their addictions to tobacco (Article 14)
  • Control the illicit trade in tobacco products (Article 15)
  • Ban sales to and by minors (Article 16)
  • Support economically viable alternatives to tobacco growing (Article 17)

In addition, Article 7 of the Treaty requests that the Conference of the Parties (COP) propose guidelines for the implementation of the Convention, with the aim to assist Parties in meeting their obligations under the Convention.