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The 1998 Subic Bay international declaration of support for action to control tobacco

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From the fifth Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco (APACT) conference, 23–26 November 1998

The 330 participants in the fifth Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco (APACT) conference from 22 countries and areas recognise:

  • that tobacco is an addictive substance and the most important single preventable cause of premature death

  • that the Asia-Pacific region currently consumes half of global cigarette production and will suffer dramatic increases in tobacco-caused diseases in the next 20–30 years

  • the deceit and misrepresentation by the tobacco industry on tobacco issues

  • the legal judgements that require tobacco companies to compensate for tobacco-caused healthcare and other costs


The participants therefore urge that:

  • all governments actively support the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

  • the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, regional development banks, and international agencies consult with the WHO on all tobacco-related trade and economic decisions that impact health

  • countries and areas follow the example of the United States government in not using their offices, embassies, or trade representatives to intervene on tobacco issues except and unless discriminatory measures against imported tobacco apply

  • the tobacco industry be excluded from the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) or other proposed international agreements [The MAI appears to have lost all momentum following the refusal of the French government to participate in any MAI negotiations.—ED]

  • all countries and areas become free of tobacco advertising

  • all countries and areas affirm the rights of children and adults to live, work, and play in tobacco smoke-free environments or zones

  • as one of the steps to becoming advertising free, international agencies concerned with the preservation of culture and protection of the environment exclude all tobacco advertising in areas under their jurisdiction, such as World Heritage sites

  • all countries and areas develop and implement national plans of action to control tobacco, including legislation, education, and tax policy

  • countries and areas take legal action against tobacco companies for compensation for tobacco-caused healthcare and other costs

  • all countries and areas require full disclosure of the risks to consumers of tobacco use

  • governments and regional agencies collaborate to establish an Asia-Pacific centre or network for research in tobacco control

  • countries and areas collaborate in measures designed to eliminate tobacco smuggling

  • all health professionals, politicians, scientists, and their institutions should reject funding, personal income and other resources from the tobacco industry.