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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: The adoption and entry into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) will catalyze Parties to implement the treaty provisions. However, the treaty provides for a number of tobacco control measures that interface with World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments and this interface is bound to evolve as implementation of the treaty progresses. This presentation focuses on one key intersection and attempts to draw the attention of tobacco control leaders on the issue that on the one hand is the tobacco product regulation provisions of the WHO FCTC which is the governmental oversight and enforcement of how tobacco products are manufactured, distributed, packaged and labelled in order to ensure the promotion of public health protection; whereas, on the other hand is WTO's Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) which aims to ensure that product specifications and procedures used to assess product compliance with specifications do not create undue obstacles to trade. In addition, this is an area that the tobacco industry could potentially exploit to further its interests.
Methods: In anticipation of the intersection described above, the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative is monitoring TBT issues and cases and undertaking the necessary research in order to strengthen its capacity to provide technical support to Parties when and if such support is sought.
Results: It is desired by TFI that Parties to the treaty will be able to receive technical support from TFI in the event that implementation of treaty provisions becomes a TBT issue.