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Why is there an international treaty on tobacco? Can’t it just be handled in each country?

The tobacco industry is extremely multinational, and has a history of playing one country off of another to dissuade governments from implementing strong tobacco controls. A treaty increases the political will of governments to do the right thing, and helps in legal defense when they are sued by industry or industry-dominated foreign governments. In addition, there are issues that are by nature cross-border – such as advertising, trade, environmental damage, poverty and development, smuggling, and organized crime – that can only be properly dealt with on a global level. Finally, by sharing information and learning from each other, governments can implement sound regulations that protect health.

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