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How can you remove tobacco from trade treaties without harming trade for useful products?





When has the tobacco industry sued a country for trying to protect their citizens’ health?


What makes it irreconcilable?


How many people have died since tobacco started benefiting from trade agreements?


For a detailed analysis of trade threats to U.S. domestic tobacco control policies, click here>


What does it mean to “carve out” tobacco from a trade agreement?

A “carve out” means an exclusion of tobacco products from the rules and benefits of the trade agreement. In effect, it gives complete protection for governments to regulate tobacco without fear of being sued by the tobacco industry.

The Tobacco Industry has sued many countries under international trade laws

Some trade and investment agreements allow the tobacco industry to drag governments before foreign trade tribunals and demand that anti-tobacco regulations be removed or weakened. Oftentimes, these cases are not about winning but are instead meant to impose the huge costs of litigation on governments, which governments must pay even if successful in their defense. This serves to dissuade other government from enacting new legislation.

What is the irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry and public health?

Unlike other products that can become harmful when abused or overused, there is no “safe” use or amount of tobacco. It is the only consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended. The tobacco industry seeks to increase consumption of tobacco, while ASH and its public health allies seek a higher level of global health. There is no “happy medium” to be found between the tobacco industry and public health.

What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and why does it matter?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a draft trade and investment agreement among eleven countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. It would become one of the largest regional trading blocs in the world if it is ratified. Learn more about the threat and opportunity of the TPPA>


How many lives are at risk if tobacco continues to benefit from trade agreements?

The WHO estimates that 1 billion people will die from tobacco this century unless drastic actions are taken. One of those critical actions to take is carving tobacco products out of trade agreements. It is impossible to predict how many lives hang in the balance of the trade debate, but it is certainly millions worldwide.