The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) in its pursuit to align itself with WHO/Frame Work Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) requirement has sanctioned the establishment of a tobacco taskforce committee, whose role and responsibility is to overseer the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all tobacco free initiatives taken place in the country.
On the 6th December 2011 at the Quality Motel, the committee has met to formalize strategy for compilation of the 2010 – 2011 FCTC report.
Solomon Islands have sign in as a member the WHO/FCTC on 18th June 2004 and rectified it on the 10TH August 2010. Under the FCTC requirement each party will be obligated to provide report and exchange of information to the conference of the parties, through the Secretariat periodic report on its implementation of the this Convention.
The periodic report should cover information on legislation, appropriate or constrain encountered in the implementation of the convention, financial and technical assistance to advance tobacco control, surveillance and research and other information specified in Article 6.3. 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 15.5, and 19.2.
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization. The WHO FCTC is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health.
The WHO FCTC represents a paradigm shift in developing a regulatory strategy to address addictive substances; in contrast to previous drug control treaties, the WHO FCTC asserts the importance of demand reduction strategies as well as supply issues.
The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The spread of the tobacco epidemic is facilitated through a variety of complex factors with cross-border effects, including trade liberalization and direct foreign investment.
Other factors such as global marketing, transnational tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and the international movement of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes have also contributed to the explosive increase in tobacco use.
The core demand reduction provisions in the WHO FCTC are contained in articles 6-14:
• Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, and
• Non-price measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, namely:
- Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke;
- Regulation of the contents of tobacco products;
- Regulation of tobacco product disclosures;
- Packaging and labeling of tobacco products;
- Education, communication, training and public awareness;
- Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
- Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation.
The core supply reduction provisions in the WHO FCTC are contained in articles 15-17:
Illicit trade in tobacco products;
Sales to and by minors; and,
Provision of support for economically viable alternative activities.
The tobacco taskforce committee is made up of reputable individual form the MHMS and other stakeholders chaired by Dr Cedric Alependava, Under Secretary for Health Improvement.