Global tobacco control pact in effect

Monday, February 28th 2005, 10:39 am
By: News On 6

UNDATED (AP) _ The world's first tobacco control treaty has gone into effect in 57 countries, but NOT the United States.

The treaty requires ratified nations to impose a ban on tobacco advertising, to place graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, to take measures to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke and to increase the cost of tobacco products.

Creating the treaty -- called the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control -- pitted tobacco control advocates against international tobacco companies.

Both sides got some of what they wanted -- an initiative against cigarette smuggling for the tobacco companies and the control efforts for the public health advocates.

The United States signed the treaty last May, but the Bush administration has NOT sent it to the Senate for ratification. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says the State Department is reviewing it.