Online Program

Introduction to the FCTC and history of trade and tobacco

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:35 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Chris Bostic, MSFS, JD, Action on Smoking and Health, Washington, DC
The tobacco industry has a long history of using trade agreements to advance its goals. In the 1980s and 90s, the U.S., on the industry's behalf, used trade law to force open foreign markets to multinational tobacco products and marketing. In the last decade, the industry, by itself and through government proxies, has attempted to block or impede strong tobacco control regulations through a web of trade and investment agreements. Trade was a hot topic during negotiations of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Several governments, led by the U.S. but including Japan, Germany and other tobacco exporting countries, attempted to insert language explicitly placing trade concerns above public health, while many negotiators from the global south pushed for the opposite approach. In the end, legal trade (i.e., not illicit trade) was not mentioned in the FCTC, leaving interpretation of a legal clash between trade and FCTC obligations unclear. This presentation will trace the history of the tobacco and trade law through the lens of the FCTC and its subsequent Guidelines, with a focus on industry attempts to influence the negotiation process and its continuing efforts to ensure that its profits take precedence over governments' ability to regulate for public health.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the strategy of the tobacco industry to use trade law to block or impede meaningful tobacco control policy at the global and national levels. Discuss the conflict of laws issues of trade and public health law.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Industry, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in the tobacco control field as an attorney for over 11 years, and have been actively involved in trade policy for much of that time. Currently I coordinate an international coalition of attorneys and advocates working for a tobacco exception in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
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.