Bloomberg donates $125 million to worldwide tobacco control: ASH calls on UK Government to spell out its financial commitment to Tobacco Treaty implementation.



Wednesday 16 August 2006

ASH news release:  For immediate release:  Wednesday 16 August 2006

 

Bloomberg donates $125 million to worldwide tobacco control: ASH calls on UK Government to spell out its financial commitment to  Tobacco Treaty implementation

Tobacco control advocates worldwide have welcomed the announcement that New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has committed US$125 million to creating a “Worldwide Stop Smoking Initiative”.   The money will provide initial funds over the next two years for a comprehensive programme to help the world become tobacco-free.  The programme will cover:

  • Preventative and cessation initiatives
  • Support for public sector efforts to pass and enforce key tobacco control law, such as legislation to protect people from secondhand smoke in the workplace
  • Educational campaigns on the hazards of tobacco
  • Monitoring systems to track countries’ progress in implementing key interventions.

 

Following this generous donation by Mayor Bloomberg, ASH is calling on the UK Government to spell out its plans for the implementation of the FCTC – the global treaty on tobacco –  which the Government has ratified.  The FCTC requires governments to provide funding for the development of tobacco control programmes in developing countries through bilateral and multilateral agreements.  [1]

 

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

 

“Mayor Bloomberg has set an important example for rich nations to follow.  Whilst the $125 million will help kick start tobacco control programmes it will not be enough in the long run to sustain activity.  With 5 million people dying every year from tobacco related diseases and the total predicted to rise to 10 million a year by 2020,  financial support is desperately needed to counter the activities of the tobacco companies who continue to undermine and weaken tobacco regulations in all the countries in which they operate.

 

The UK – home to three of the world’s largest tobacco multinationals (BAT, Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher) –  has a particular duty to do all that it can to counter the insidious marketing and promotion conducted by the cigarette pushers.  With the passing of the Health Act – which will bring significant public health benefits once the smokefree elements have been implemented –  it is time for the Government to focus attention on spreading good practice and offering practical financial support to less developed nations.”

 

 
Notes and links:

[1]  Article 26 (para 3) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) states:  “Parties shall promote, as appropriate, the utilization of bilateral, regional, subregional and other  multilateral channels to provide funding for the development and strengthening of  multisectoral comprehensive tobacco control programmes of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition.  Accordingly, economically viable alternatives to tobacco production, including crop diversification should be addressed and supported in the context of nationally developed strategies of sustainable development.”

 

 

Contact: Deborah Arnott  020 7739 5902 (w) 079 7693 5987 (m) ISDN available

 

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