ASH calls for US to withdraw from tobacco treaty: EU needs to agree a new approach

Friday 04 May 2001


Immediate Release: Friday 4 May  2001



UnitedStates should pull out of tobacco treaty ­ EU needs new approach


Asserting that the tobacco treaty negotiations are being held back anddragged down by the United States, ASH called on the Bush administration towithdraw from the negotiations.


Clive Bates, Director of Action on smoking and Health, said:


“The US contribution has been entirely negative: weakening, delaying anddeleting anything that might have substance. At a meeting last night, ASH pressed for the US delegation to withdrawand let the rest of the world draw up the treaty it wants.


“In contrast to the climate treaty and anti-ballistic missile treaty,this is a case where the US is trying to wreck the agreement from theinside.  We would be better with themoutside.


“It’s very unlikely that the US will ever ratify a tobacco treaty, sowhy shape it around what they want?”, said Bates.  “Any agreement that can get through the Bush administration andCongress will be worthless from a public health point of view.


“It would be best if the US goes home from Geneva, adopts itsincreasingly familiar ostrich and stays out altogether.”


ASH conceded that the US wasn’t the only problem, but insisted that itwas the biggest problem.  ASH also calledfor a more constructive approach from the EU.


“The progressive European Union member states need to speak out andpresent the best of Europe to the rest of the world.  Some of the best tobacco policies in the European Union aren’tgetting the airplay they deserve.


“As Germany is holding the European Union back, it is important thatthey are exposed to public scrutiny and pressured to change their negativestance, rather than hiding behind the mirage of EU solidarity.”



Contact: Clive Bates:  +44 77 68791237 in Geneva:

ASH office: +44 20 7739 5902.