Tag Archives: Tobacco Around the World

The Obama Administration’s Proposal on Tobacco Regulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Part 2)

In part 1 of our 2 part series about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) we highlighted how Obama’s new tobacco proposal for the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement has created turmoil. Instead of creating a “safe harbor” as originally planned to allow strong anti-smoking laws to remain in place, Obama’s new tobacco clause will allow for more corporate intervention.

What does this look like? Well, we are already seeing this being done in Australia. More trade agreements are including settlement clauses allowing investors to directly make claims against governments. According to this document, these “investor-state dispute settlements” have a “pro-business decision-making culture cultivated by arbitral rules and working practices.” These practices will allow for arbitral adjucators, who are normally lawyers without any public health knowledge, to bring claims against governments. This of course, leaves room for one to believe that these adjucators will have a bias toward tobacco corporations. Read More »

The Obama Administration’s Proposal on Tobacco Regulation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Part 1)

Susan Liss, the executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, stated, “It is very important for people to understand that the [tobacco] industry is using trade law as a new weapon, and [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] provides an opportunity to put a stop to that.”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed trade agreement that will be the largest trade agreement since the World Trade Organization (1995). The TPP will include 12 Pacific Rim countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan and other South Eastern Asian countries. This is said to potentially be Obama’s greatest economic achievement yet. So what does this have to do with tobacco?

This trade agreement, like most trade agreements, will work toward eliminating and lowering tariffs for the countries involved. Read More »

Smoking in China—it helps you become talented

China is making very slow progress on tobacco control despite the ban on tobacco advertising on radio, TV and in newspapers as well as the new prohibition on smoking in public places introduced in May.  The agency charged with enforcing the ban on smoking in public places also regulates China National Tobacco, the world’s biggest cigarette maker, which provides nearly 7% of the government’s annual revenues.

While in the U.S. and many Western countries widespread public education preceded changes in policy, the reverse is happening in China.  According to Bloomberg Business Week 10/3-10/9, 2011, in many rural villages, local units of China National Tobacco actually sponsor their schools.  The article quotes Xu Guihua, secretary general of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, saying, “on the gates of these schools you’ll see slogans that say ‘Genius comes from hard work—tobacco helps you become talented.’” Read More »

Tobacco Control Around the World: Sydney

Sometimes, less is more.  While honeymooning in the land down under, I came across these anti-smoking signs  prominently displayed at retail stores throughout Sydney.  I was struck by how simple and direct these signs were.  No flashy graphics- just simply text: “Smoking Kills” along with cessation information.  Another thing I liked was that an individual could only buy tobacco products from a specific register.   I was curious as to when these policies were enacted- a quick search on Google led me to the New South Wales (NSW) Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008.

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Warning: Thailand still far from smokefree

Over the course of the last two weeks, I travelled throughout Thailand. Along the way, I met several fellow Canadians and over the course of conversation people always ask what I do now that I live in Los Angeles. As soon as I mention that I work for the American Lung Association in California, they immediately made one or both of the following comments: Read More »