For Immediate Release

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Global Community Unites Against Tobacco Industry Interference

Declaration at treaty meeting affirms priority of public health over trade

PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY - As the host country for this week’s tobacco control treaty meetings
braces for a legal challenge from Philip Morris International (PMI) to
its graphic cigarette warning labels, 172 Parties are uniting behind
Uruguay in a declaration adopted this morning. 

The declaration reaffirms the right of Parties to the treaty, “to
give priority to their right to public health” over trade, given the
“devastating worldwide health, social, economic, and environmental
consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.”
 
“Today, while one deadly corporation disputes the priority of
public health over its profits, the global community has begged to
differ – taking a unified stand against industry interference and
intimidation,” said Gigi Kellett of Corporate Accountability
International.
 
The declaration, proposed by Uruguay, can immediately assist the
country in its case with PMI, not to mention the countless Parties
facing similar legal intimidation, industry interference in health
policy, and manipulation of the treaty process.
 
The document:
 
· reaffirms that health is a fundamental right of every human being;
 
· affirms the sovereign right of all Parties to protect
health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the
tobacco industry;
 
· declares Parties’ concern regarding the tobacco
industry’s current and ongoing efforts to “subvert and undermine
government policies on tobacco control;”
 
· declares the need to exchange information nationally and
internationally regarding the tobacco industry’s efforts to interfere in
the implementation of the treaty;
 
· encourages non-Parties, such as the United States, to ratify and implement the treaty.
 
The full language of the declaration will be made available at http://apps.who.int/gb/fctc/E/E_cop4.htm.
 
“Uruguay is not alone in its struggle and the legal challenge that
spurred this declaration is not the only reason for its being proposed,”
said Yul Francisco Dorado, Latin America Director for Corporate
Accountability International. “Just this week, the industry has used
front groups to bully delegates and mislead the media. It has sent
dozens of representatives to walk the halls of a treaty meeting it is
prohibited from participating in. And this is just what is in plain
view. This declaration says enough is enough, we cannot get down to the
business of saving lives unless Big Tobacco is directly challenged.”
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