United States should pull out of tobacco treaty â€“ EU needs new approach
Asserting that the tobacco treaty negotiations are being held back and dragged down by the United States, ASH called on the Bush administration to withdraw from the negotiations.
Clive Bates, Director of Action on smoking and Health, said:
â€œThe US contribution has been entirely negative: weakening, delaying and deleting anything that might have substance. At a meeting last night, ASH pressed for the US delegation to withdraw and let the rest of the world draw up the treaty it wants.
â€œIn contrast to the climate treaty and anti-ballistic missile treaty, this is a case where the US is trying to wreck the agreement from the inside. We would be better with them outside.
â€œItâ€™s very unlikely that the US will ever ratify a tobacco treaty, so why shape it around what they want?â€, said Bates. â€œAny agreement that can get through the Bush administration and Congress will be worthless from a public health point of view.
â€œIt would be best if the US goes home from Geneva, adopts its increasingly familiar ostrich and stays out altogether.â€
ASH conceded that the US wasnâ€™t the only problem, but insisted that it was the biggest problem. ASH also called for a more constructive approach from the EU.
â€œThe progressive European Union member states need to speak out and present the best of Europe to the rest of the world. Some of the best tobacco policies in the European Union arenâ€™t getting the airplay they deserve.
â€œAs Germany is holding the European Union back, it is important that they are exposed to public scrutiny and pressured to change their negative stance, rather than hiding behind the mirage of EU solidarity.â€