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Tobacco Progress at the UN

The UN Secretary General released his progress report on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) from 2011 to the present. This report was mandated by the Political Declaration on NCDs. It serves as the first step in the preparations for the 2014 UN Review and Assessment on NCDs. In the report, it explains the new challenges for addressing NCDs, actions taken thus far by the World Health Organization to fulfill the commitments made in the Political Declaration, agreements made by Member States in the creation of the global NCD framework, and recommends actions to advance progress in the future.

The report has several significant mentions of tobacco control being an influential factor in NCD governance, prevention, and measuring success.

-Policies and programs that have the best progress and are cost-effective interventions to reduce exposure to risk factors for NCDs:

Top 4 of 10 are tobacco related:

    • Increasing tobacco taxes
    • Smoke-free environments
    • Health warnings and mass media campaigns
    • Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship

 

-Global monitoring framework calls for:

  • A relative reduction of 30% in the prevalence of current tobacco use in persons over 15 years of age

 

-Action Plan indicators to inform reporting on progress include:

  • Number of countries with an operational policy, strategy or action plan, in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to reduce the burden of tobacco use

 

-United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases:

  • Incorporate work of United Nations Ad Hoc Inter-Agency Task Force on Tobacco Control by implementing WHO FCTC

 

-Achievements in fostering international cooperation and coordination for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases:

  • COP 5- Seoul
  • Coming up: COP 6- Moscow

 

-Philanthropic Foundations:

  • Bloomberg and Gates committed to support national efforts to implement proven tobacco control policies (ex: smoke-free public places, banning tobacco advertising, increasing taxes on tobacco products and raising public awareness)

 

-Recommendations on accelerating progress:

  • Higher taxes on tobacco have dual benefit of improving health of population through reduced consumption and raising funds.

 

We appreciate the emphasis placed on the importance of tobacco control in achieving the NCD commitments made in the Political Declaration. This report will be used by ASH in our advocacy efforts for the post-2015 development agenda as well as the NCD review and assessment. Click here to read the full report from the UN Secretary General.

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