the world commemorated the 15th anniversary of the entry into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Framework Agreement remains the first international treaty and only on public health negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization. It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on May 21, 2003. It has since become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties within the entire international political system.
It is estimated that smoking causes approximately 10% of all cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and remains the second major cause of the cardiovascular disease after high blood pressure. In addition, approximately 6 million people die from tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke annually, accounting for 6% of females and 12% of male deaths worldwide. By 2030, tobacco-related deaths are expected to increase to more than 8 million deaths annually. But tobacco use is both avoidable and preventable, and there are many health and policy tools, such as taxing tobacco, that can help us tackle this threat. So working for a tobacco-free world is a major strategic priority for the World Heart Federation.
The objective of this agreement is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic impacts of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. Over the past fifteen years, the Framework Convention has played a crucial role in curbing the global tobacco epidemic by providing a road map for policy change and an incentive to act. At present there are 181 parties to the framework agreement, which covers more than 90% of the world’s population.
In addition to helping public health advocates promote tobacco control, the agreement was a litmus test for creating a strong legal framework for international cooperation in health issues. It has proven effective in legal defenses against the tobacco industry, while at the same time helping to raise awareness of tobacco industry intervention. The enhancement of the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is also an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals as Goal 3a.