Successful tobacco control efforts in developed countries have provided an illustration of the application of health promotion principles, most notably the critical value of social mobilization for change and use of comprehensive health promotion strategies. Tobacco control efforts in developed countries are now starting to grapple with the challenge of closing the health equity gap. In developed countries, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), though derived from a global social movement, is facing challenges in implementation because of relatively little support from the population as a whole, along with weak government infrastructure. Furthermore, developing countries are often more concerned about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and access to primary health care, not to mention poverty alleviation in general, than tobacco use and non-communicable diseases. Health promotion and the FCTC have shared interests in relation to both health equity and capacity building. Therefore, a civil society coalition built around these common interests--and broader issues--may provide a stronger support for FCTC implementation. Strengthening the ties between health promotion and the FCTC could lead to stronger advocacy, better knowledge management systems, more integrated community-based programs, and stronger workforce capacity. These, in turn, could reduce tobacco smoking and other risks to health, as well as help close the health equity gap in developed and developing countries.