The global tobacco treaty opened for signature on June 16, 2003, and took effect as international law on February 27th, 2005. Once a leader in tobacco control, the United States remains on the sidelines, among a shrinking minority of nations that have yet to ratify the treaty.
President Bush signed the global tobacco treaty four years ago, but has not yet submitted it to the Senate for ratification. In 2005, eleven U.S. Senators urged President Bush to send the treaty to the Senate for consideration. One of those Senators was Barack Obama, now the President of the United States.
As we celebrate the achievements in tobacco control during this 5 year milestone, we call on President Obama to demonstrate his leadership on public health over private profits and send the global tobacco treaty to the US Senate for consideration. It is time for the US to stop standing on the sidelines and instead lend its considerable influence to prevent tobacco addiction and related disease.