A landmark global tobacco regulation that came into force on February 27, 2005, is expected to save the lives of over 500 million people from the dangers of smoking. The World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) bans direct advertising and sponsorship of cigarettes and use of misleading adjectives like "light" and "low tar" for them. Cigarette packets will now have to carry visual warnings about the danger of smoking. Sale of cigarettes around schools and to minors has been banned. FCTC is the first official global public health treaty. It was endorsed in May 2003; 168 countries have signed and 57 ratified it. Countries now have three years to enforce laws to implement the treaty. India formulated such a law in April 2003 but hasn't executed it effectively. Budget 2005-2006 has proposed a nearly 10 per cent rise in cigarette prices.
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