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The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was a landmark treaty in the history of public health. Though its regulations have reduced the burden of non-communicable diseases caused by tobacco smoke, the battle for worldwide tobacco control has yet to be won. Some non-smokers are still heavily exposed to secondhand smoke, especially those working in hospitality industries where smoking is allowed indoors.

The Austrian government cancelled a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, putting workers and patrons at a higher risk of emphysema, cancer, and other NCDs. The decision may also reverse the nation’s improvements in reducing rates of smoking among youths. Austria’s action contrasts the goal of the FCTC and represents a step backward in public health.

Immediate Past President of the WFPHA, Michael Moore, wrote an open letter to Minister Sebastian Kurz of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs in support of the FCTC and implementing stricter tobacco control policies in Austria.

“There is a long history of the tobacco industry intimidating, bribing, cajoling, and using a myriad of other techniques to prevent governments from interfering with their domination in the ‘free market of tobacco’. They continue to do so. Governments that have prioritized the health of their children and community have resisted this domination by following the strategies agreed to in the FCTC,” said Moore, urging Austria to take action to support full implementation of the FCTC . 

The letter has been quoted by a number of journals:

image005 Letter to Austrian Minister Sebastian Kurz


The goal of the Pledge is to help create a tobacco-free world through addressing the tobacco industry from an economic standpoint via policies, awareness, and partnerships.

By reducing investments in and challenging corporate relationships with the tobacco industry, signatories will tackle the tobacco epidemic from an innovative angle. The Pledge was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on September 26th and advances Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 17 (Partnerships for Goals), and the WHO Organizational Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

To read the full pledge click here.

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Climate change is a pressing international health issues that knows no borders. Not enough is being done to reduce the rate of climate change, and we must do more to highlight this as a public health issue. If not, countries around the world (especially low- and middle-income countries) will suffer from new or worse health outcomes, undoing years of progress made in international development. The WFPHA is proud to be an Initial Endorser of the 'Call to Action on Climate and Health' (written by the Global Climate and Health Forum), which prioritizes for environmental and public health actions and calls upon those in the healthcare field to do more.

Read the full statement here.

Sign-on as endorser:

Oral diseases are a neglected epidemic as almost everyone is affected. Although most oral diseases are preventable and have common risk factors with other non-communicable diseases, integration of oral health into public health systems is still limited. The Global Charter for the Public’s Health, developed by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is a framework that aims to streamline the functions and services of public health. This policy statement describes how oral health can be integrated into public health systems using the components of the Global Charter for the Public’s Health framework. Additionally, it is an international call to action for all public health professionals in all countries of the world to advocate for the full integration of oral health into public health systems.

To read to full resolution click here.