Prof Jeff Collin at global tobacco control negotiations in Seoul
Jeff Collin, Professor of Global Health Policy, is attending negotiations at which policy-makers and health officials from around the world consider action to reduce the health burden of smoking.
The event – taking place in Seoul, South Korea – is the 5th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first international health treaty and the key policy instrument for reducing tobacco use globally.
A key item of discussion at the meeting concerns funding support for developing countries to attend FCTC meetings. Plans to cut funding threaten the future participation of over 80 low and lower-middle income countries.
A new study led by Prof Collin – together with colleagues Evgeniya Plotnikova and Sarah Hill of the Global Public Health Unit – shows that these countries already struggle to participate effectively in FCTC meetings and are numerically under-represented compared with higher income countries, particularly those in the EU. This finding is particularly concerning given the growing burden of tobacco deaths in developing countries, which are projected to double from 3.4 million in 2002 to 6.8 million by 2030.
Professor Collin hopes that this research will help persuade richer countries of the need to continue supporting developing countries’ participation in tobacco control. He argues that support for global tobacco control should include an appropriate travel policy to ensure the effective engagement of countries experiencing the greatest disease burden of tobacco and to which the FCTC can therefore make the greatest contribution.
A commentary based on this analysis was distributed to meeting delegates via the daily newsletter of the Framework Convention Alliance: http://www.fctc.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=527&tmpl=component&format=raw&Itemid=21
The full study is available from Tobacco Control’s Online First website: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2012/11/14/tobaccocontrol-2012-050849.full