270558 Tobacco industry, regional trade agreements and tobacco control in Sub-Saharan Africa

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 5:16 PM - 5:30 PM

Hadii M. Mamudu, PhD, MPA , Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Eric Crosbie, MA in International Relations , Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Sreenivas P. Veeranki, MD, MPH , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Over 80% of estimated global deaths from tobacco-induced diseases by 2030 are expected to occur in low- and medium-income countries, where tobacco industry has aggressively penetrated new markets. More importantly, tobacco industry has taken advantage of trade and investment agreements, which lower tobacco production and distribution costs. Additionally, many of these agreements have been created regionally, enabling tobacco industry to freely move goods and services within a region. We used mixed-methods approach to assess the impact of regional trade agreements (RTAs) in Africa on cigarette sales and analyze how tobacco industry used these RTAs to expand operations and undermine tobacco control. Four RTAs in Africa were thematically coded using Nvivo 9, followed by time-series analysis to determine cigarette sales rates between 2003 and 2011. Cigarette sales did not only increase but also significantly increased among those with stronger RTAs. Moreover, tobacco companies concentrated production of cigarettes in specific countries while taking advantage of larger markets provided by RTAs to promote their products. Tobacco companies capitalized on RTAs in Africa to promote tobacco, which calls for governments in RTAs to develop strategies to ensure that the companies do not take advantage of such agreements to promote their products and undermine tobacco control. The increase in tobacco sales in areas with more liberalized RTAs suggests the need for public health community to be concerned with how trade and investment impact tobacco use and health, especially without an explicit provision on trade and health in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess the impact of trade liberalization on tobacco sales in Sub-Saharan Africa 2. To analyze how tobacco industry used trading blocs in Sub-Saharan Africa to promote and market tobacco use 3. To analyze how tobacco industry used trading blocs in Sub-Saharan Africa to undermine tobacco control.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Tobacco Industry

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research in tobacco control (including international trade and health) and conceived the research idea.
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.