30 November 2010: Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that passive smoking annually kills 600,000 people worldwide, and to the recommendation that the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control be immediately enforced. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): My Lords, the report from the World Health Organisation sets out the significant harms to health from exposure to second-hand smoke. The United Kingdom is a strong supporter of the FCTC and has worked hard to implement it since ratification of the treaty in 2004. Today, we exceed our treaty obligations in this area through the effective and popular smoke-free legislation. Tackling tobacco will be a key element in the Government's new public health White Paper. Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that very positive and welcome reply, which is particularly interesting in view of the interview given by the Secretary of State, Mr Andrew Lansley, on the "Today" programme this morning, in which he had some interesting things to say about packaging. Would the Minister comment on that? Does he agree with Mr Lansley's assertion that "the visibility of cigarettes ... constantly tends to reinforce smoking, but it also leads to initiation of smoking amongst young people"? Can he confirm that it is necessary for the United Kingdom, in order to comply with Article 13 of the framework convention, to proceed with restrictions on tobacco display and the banning of vending machines?
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