Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Promotes WHO International Treaty on Tobacco Control

From March 2000 through October 2004, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, worked to advance domestic and international tobacco control policies through support for the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first international public health treaty on curbing tobacco use.

About four million people die each year from tobacco use, according to the United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO).

In 1999, the 191 member-states of WHO's governing body unanimously endorsed work on a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first attempt by WHO to create an international public health treaty.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a national center established by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to reduce tobacco use.

Key Results

  • In spring 2000, the campaign drafted a set of core principles that it believed should guide treaty negotiations. Among these principles:

    • The convention should recognize that tobacco-control efforts must be comprehensive.
    • Health concerns should be the first priority of the parties negotiating the Convention and should govern all decisions made by them.
    • Provisions of the convention must be legally binding on tobacco companies, be implemented by legislation or regulation and provide for strict enforcement mechanisms by each signatory.

    Some 30 organizations endorsed the principles.

  • Project staff educated the U.S. public to encourage support for the Framework Convention.

  • The Campaign helped found the Framework Convention Alliance, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations from around the world.