Article 20: Research, surveillance and exchange of information

  1. The Parties undertake to develop and promote national research and to coordinate research programmes at the regional and international levels in the field of tobacco control. Towards this end, each Party shall:

    a) initiate and cooperate in, directly or through competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies, the conduct of research and scientific assessments, and in so doing promote and encourage research that addresses the determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke as well as research for identification of alternative crops; and

    b) promote and strengthen, with the support of competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies, training and support for all those engaged in tobacco control activities, including research, implementation and evaluation.

  2. The Parties shall establish, as appropriate, programmes for national, regional and global surveillance of the magnitude, patterns, determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Towards this end, the Parties should integrate tobacco surveillance programmes into national, regional and global health surveillance programmes so that data are comparable and can be analysed at the regional and international levels, as appropriate.

  3. Parties recognize the importance of financial and technical assistance from international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies. Each Party shall endeavour to:

    a) establish progressively a national system for the epidemiological surveillance of tobacco consumption and related social, economic and health indicators;
    b) cooperate with competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations and other bodies, including governmental and nongovernmental agencies, in regional and global tobacco surveillance and exchange of information on the indicators specified in paragraph 3(a) of this Article; and
    c) cooperate with the World Health Organization in the development of general guidelines or procedures for defining the collection, analysis and dissemination of tobacco-related surveillance data.

  4. The Parties shall, subject to national law, promote and facilitate the exchange of publicly available scientific, technical, socioeconomic, commercial and legal information, as well as information regarding practices of the tobacco industry and the cultivation of tobacco, which is relevant to this Convention, and in so doing shall take into account and address the special needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition. Each Party shall endeavour to:

    a) progressively establish and maintain an updated database of laws and regulations on tobacco control and, as appropriate, information about their enforcement, as well as pertinent jurisprudence, and cooperate in the development of programmes for regional and global tobacco control;
    b) progressively establish and maintain updated data from national surveillance programmes in accordance with paragraph 3(a) of this Article; and
    c) cooperate with competent international organizations to progressively establish and maintain a global system to regularly collect and disseminate information on tobacco production, manufacture and the activities of the tobacco industry which have an impact on the Convention or national tobacco control activities.

  5. Parties should cooperate in regional and international intergovernmental organizations and financial and development institutions of which they are members, to promote and encourage provision of technical and financial resources to the Secretariat to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to meet their commitments on research, surveillance and exchange of information.

Source: WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Geneva: World Health Organization 2003, updated reprint 2004, 2005.

No guidelines for the implementation of the Article 20 have been adopted by the Parties to the WHO FCTC.

Information about all WHO FCTC Articles is available here.