Tob Control 21:208-211 doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050206
  • Strategic directions and emerging issues in tobacco control

Human rights-based approach to tobacco control

  1. Hitakshi Sehgal4
  1. 1Arkansas Department of Health, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  2. 2Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
  3. 3German Cancer Research Center, Unit Cancer Prevention and WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control, Heidelberg, Germany
  4. 4School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carolyn Dresler, Arkansas Department of Health, 4815 West Markham St. Little Rock, Arkansas 72207, USA; carolyn_dresler{at}
  1. Contributors All of the authors contributed to the concept and construction of the paper.

  • Received 5 April 2011
  • Accepted 29 August 2011


The Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) is currently the most potent tool for implementation of tobacco control laws across the globe. The FCTC is derivative from previously constructed international human rights conventions. These previous conventions have enforcement mechanisms, unlike the FCTC. However, the FCTC relies on state parties to report periodically on its implementation rather than on a continuous monitoring system. The Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network proposes that abiding by the principles of human rights delineated by international treaties, citizens across the globe can demand effective action for tobacco control. This paper explains the link between fundamental human rights and the right to tobacco control. Mechanisms are described to link the FCTC and its principles with human rights-based monitoring reports, which are provided to oversight committees for the other human rights conventions. The initial work of the Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network is summarised and considers the future directions for the human rights-based approach to tobacco control.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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