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Tobacco A Big Issue Among TPP Negotiators

At yesterday’s TransPacific Partnership stakeholder event – a bit of political theater set up by the United States Trade Representative to demonstrate the “transparency” of the highly-secretive negotiations – negotiators from other countries eagerly sought us out to hear about how tobacco regulation is threatened by trade law. ASH’s Chris Bostic and Georgetown University law… Read the full article >

What is ISDS and What Does it Mean for Tobacco Control

ISDS stands for Investor State Dispute Settlement. I know, spelling it out doesn’t help comprehension much. It is a term of art for trade law policy wonks. Unlike most unnecessarily long bits of lingo, this one is dangerous, especially for tobacco control. The United States is insisting that it be included in the TransPacific Partnership… Read the full article >

Two Silver Linings to Graphic Warnings Decision

As anyone who follows tobacco-related news now knows, last Friday an appeals court upheld a lower court ruling striking down the FDA’s proposed graphic warnings for cigarette packages. In a 2-1 decision, the court found that the warnings violated “corporate speech” rights. The finding places the rights of tobacco companies to market an addictive and deadly… Read the full article >

States Urge USTR To Seek Tobacco Carve Out from TPP

Two state governments have called on the USTR to carve tobacco out of the TransPacific Partnership Agreement over well-grounded concerns that their own state and local tobacco control initiatives will be threatened by international trade tribunals. Maine and Vermont, both leaders among U.S. states in protecting their people’s health, sent letters to U.S. Trade Representative… Read the full article >

The Global Tobacco Epidemic is Far from Over

The global tobacco epidemic is far from being over. A recent study published in the Lancet suggests that the number of tobacco users remains very high in many parts of the world, particularly low and middle income countries.  Over 60% of Russian men and over 28% of Bangladeshi women use tobacco.  No wonder tobacco stocks are… Read the full article >

ASH Poster Presentations at the 2012 NCTOH

ASH at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health

For someone who had to get involved in tobacco control as relief from seeing patient after patient suffering and dying as a result of their use of tobacco and who has been involved in tobacco control for over forty years, it is immensely gratifying to see the growing number of organizations and people represented at… Read the full article >

NCD Action Plan

WHO has posted a discussion paper on the development of its NCD Action Plan 2013-20  http://who.int/nmh/events/2012/ncd_action_plan/en/index.html The document states that The UN Task Team on the Post-2015 Development Agenda recognized in its report that MDGs did not adequately address the increase of NCDs and it also states that  Overseas Development Assistance for NCDs has not… Read the full article >

The Dominican Republic is Suing Australia for Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

The Dominican Republic has filed formal papers to sue Australia in the World Trade Organization over its plain packaging of cigarettes. Australia is now being sued in three different courts by multiple countries and multinational corporations. The Australian government is refusing to settle or to back down in its legislation, and is confident of victory.… Read the full article >

United States Does Not Table its Tobacco Exception at the TransPacific Partnership Negotiations

The United States did not table its tobacco exception at the latest round of TransPacific Partnership negotiations. The issue apparently did not come up during the closed-door sessions, although it was a central concern of NGOs during the one-hour stakeholder briefing with the chief negotiators. The next round is scheduled to begin September 6, but… Read the full article >

Canada and Mexico Join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Talks

Canada and Mexico are set to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement talks. They have agreed to accept any provisions that have been agreed before they join, in spite of the fact that they are not allowed to see the text. In essence, this is like signing a legal contract without reading a word of its… Read the full article >

Tobacco Industry Reports on Revenues

Clearly, even though it kills over 5 million people per year,  tobacco remains a very lucrative business.  Quoting Warren Buffet:  “I’ll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It cost a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It’s addictive. And there’s a fantastic brand loyalty.”  According to the recently released Tobacco Atlas,… Read the full article >

Ratification from Czech Republic

On June 1st 2012 the Czech Republic joined the tobacco treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.  177 out of 195 eligible Parties have become Parties to this treaty.  The U.S. has not yet joined this treaty.   President Obama should take action and choose health over tobacco and submit this treaty to the Senate for… Read the full article >

WHA Adoption of Targets

The world must stay make clear commitments to reduce the tobacco caused epidemic. As Dr Chan, Director General of the WHO says, “what gets measured gets done”. The governments of the world have agreed to achieve a meaningful target during the World Health Assembly (WHA), the governing body of the World Health Organization.    The adopted… Read the full article >

PAFNCD 2012

On May 8-9 I attended in Brasilia, Brazil, the first working meeting of the Pan American Forum for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (PAFNCD) http://new.paho.org/panamericanforum/ , an initiative of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) that confronts the Noncommunicable (NCD) epidemic in the Americas by mobilizing different interest groups to prevent and control chronic… Read the full article >

Costing Tools

Tobacco use has been determined to be very costly to society as you can see in this  Harvard- World Economic Forum publication  http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Harvard_HE_GlobalEconomicBurdenNonCommunicableDiseases_2011.pdf. According to a recent American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation report the annual economic burden of tobacco related illnesses exceeds total annual health expenditures in low and middle income countries. On… Read the full article >

Bloomberg’s Support on Tobacco Control

We applaud New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg, for his unwavering commitment to public health by announcing his continued support of US $220 million to the global fight against tobacco use, bringing his total support to over US $600 million.  We encourage other philanthropists to follow his lead.  Tobacco will kill one… Read the full article >

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