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FCTC proposals provide no viable alternatives to tobacco

| October 4, 2012

The chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) has condemned World Health Organization proposals to reduce the area planted to tobacco and withdraw technical and financial support for leaf production, according to a NewsDay story relayed by Tobacco China Online.

Rodney Ambrose said the proposals would negatively affect the tobacco industry and lead to massive job losses.

Ambrose’s intervention came despite the fact thatZimbabweis not a party to WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which will discuss the proposals at a meeting inSeoulon November 12-17.

The FCTC is expected to recommend the ending of financial and technical support to tobacco farmers, the dismantling of organizations connecting growers with governments, the regulation of tobacco growing seasons and the reduction of the area allocated for tobacco farming.

Ambrose said that the regulations, aimed at phasing out tobacco growing, put the jobs of more than 30 million farmers around the world at risk.

And it did so without providing them with any viable alternative crop.

“WHO has consistently refused to listen to tobacco growers in drafting the proposals that directly impactAfrica’s farmers,” he said.

According to the ZTA, the FCTC’s proposals were designed to force tobacco growers out of business by creating artificial restrictions on tobacco supply, while failing to address growing demand for the crop.

“Now is the time for governments to act and oppose these draconian measures,” Ambrose said.

Currently, there is an international online petition aimed at rallying governments worldwide to oppose the measures: http://protectfarmers.tobaccoleaf.org/join.aspx.

Category: Breaking News

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