HHS Secretary Hopeful About Global Treaty Ratification

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said he was confident that the United States would ratify the global treaty to curb smoking and its related diseases, Reuters reported May 14.

“Anything can happen in an election year, but I’m hopeful we can get this treaty to pass on a bipartisan basis this year,” Thompson said during his meeting with health ministers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France.

The World Health Organization (WHO) treaty must be ratified by 40 nations before it becomes effective.

Anti-smoking groups are concerned that the U.S. will delay ratifying the treaty because of the Bush administration’s ties to tobacco companies. The U.S. Senate is currently reviewing the treaty.