204251 Tobacco Industry Activities to influence the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Debate on Public Health and Trade

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:30 PM

Hadii M. Mamudu, PhD , Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
We used the FCTC negotiations documents and previously secret tobacco industry documents made public through litigations in the US. Even though the tobacco companies were against the development of the FCTC, they initially supported a provision that “tobacco-control measures should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination in international trade.” After this provision was deleted, the companies worked to ensure that an explicit trade provision was not inserted in the FCTC. To accomplish this goal, the companies tried to demonstrate the FCTC implications for WTO, monitored other international fora where FCTC was likely to be raised, unsuccessfully lobbied WTO and top WTO officials against the FCTC, tried to use the International Chambers of Commerce to influence the debate, collaborated to influence the position of countries, monitored the US government positions to find avenues to influence it, hired consultants to prepare trade policy position papers for PR purposes, used the slippery slope argument to get other industries involved in the debate, and lobbied trade blocks by highlighting the FCTC impact on them. The failure to get an explicit trade provision in the FCTC shows the tobacco industry successful use of free trade arguments and implications of tobacco regulation for the trade to undermine public health efforts. Thus, it is important for the public health community to be aware of the key tobacco industry arguments against regulation of tobacco trade, particularly during the fourth FCTC Conference of the Parties meeting in 2010 where trade will be on the agenda.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the activities of the tobacco companies to influence public health versus trade debate during the FCTC negotiations.

Keywords: Tobacco Industry, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Work at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education and conduct research there about tobacco policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.