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Welcome to tradeandtobacco.org!

Tradeandtobacco.org is an online resource center that seeks to assemble, build, and disseminate knowledge on trade, investment, tobacco, and public health in order to serve the needs of researchers, policymakers, and advocates in Asia. It is being developed by partners of tradeandtobacco.org as part of a research project made possible with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada.

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  • Featured Resource Materials

    Safeguarding tobacco control measures from the tobacco industry’s trade-related challenges through trade treaty design

    By Deborah K. Sy

    Asian Journal of WTO & Int'l Health Law & Policy


  • Featured Resource Materials

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Tobacco Carve-Out Precedent

    By Robert Ireland

    Global Trade and Customs Journal, 2016
  • Featured Resource Materials

    Tobacco Litigation in International Courts

    By Sergio Puig

    Harvard International Law Journal (forthcoming), 2016
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Updates and Events

  • 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health to be held in October 2016

    The 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health will be conducted on 26-29 October 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.


    The conference is the world's largest gathering of clinicians and public health workers, health programme managers, policymakers, researchers and advocates working to end the suffering caused by lung disease, with a focus specifically on the challenges faced by the low- and middle-income countries. Of the 10 million people who die each year from lung diseases, some 80 per cent live in these resource-limited countries.

  • India to host COP7 and first session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) in November 2016

    It is the first occasion that a COP meeting is being held in India and signals a strong and generous commitment of the Government of India to increase international co-operation and awareness of the WHO FCTC globally and especially in the WHO South-East Asia Region.


    The meetings, jointly organised by the Government of India and the Convention Secretariat, will take place at the India Expo Centre & Mart in Noida, southeast of New Delhi. COP7 will be held from 7-12 November 2016, with the MOP1 scheduled from 14-16 November 2016.

  • 11th APACT conference on tobacco or health set in September 2016

    The 11th APACT Conference on Tobacco or Health 2016 will be held on September 23-25, 2016 in Beijing, China.


    The conference will address the importance of tobacco control for health promotion and disease control. The representatives of the APACT nations or regions are expected to share their experiences and knowledge in the field of tobacco control during the event in order to further set forth the implementation of the WHO FCTC, and to contribute to preventing chronic diseases, controlling tobacco use, and protecting people's health in the Asian-Pacific regions.

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Video and Audio Collection

Explore our initial assemblage of multimedia resource materials, like video and audio lectures and webinars on tobacco, trade, investment, and public health.

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News Bits

  • Tobacco firm ponders challenge as plain packaging bill passes

    Sophie Boot, NZ Herald, 10 September 2016 – British American Tobacco is still considering a legal challenge to standardised cigarette packaging after legislation restricting the use of branding on cigarette packets was passed on Thursday.


    The Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament by 108 to 13, with opposition from New Zealand First and the Act Party.

  • Plain packaging for tobacco confirmed

    Otago Daily Times, 08 September 2016 – Plain packaging for tobacco is on the way after legislation passed its final hurdle tonight. Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga took a large cigarette packet prop into Parliament's debating chamber to show what plain packaging could look like. ''This is what will make a difference,'' he said.


    ''When cigarette packs come out of a smoker's pocket or are left lying around on the table where others can see, there will be nothing but a drab, ugly background colour and large, prominent, graphic pictorial warnings.''

  • Anti-tobacco law to be upgraded with harsher punishments, fines

    Myanmar Times, 06 September 2016 – One decade after a law to control tobacco use went into effect, the government is finally pledging to give teeth to the legislation. Violators could face increased fines and even prison time, health officials warn.


    Dr Thuzar Chit Tin, director of the Ministry of Health and Sport, said the 2006 Control of Smoking and Consumption of Tobacco Products Law is in the process of being updated, with fines raised to reflect the current economy and act as a bigger disincentive.

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ASEAN Economic Community

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is the goal of regional economic integration by 2015 in Southeast Asia. AEC envisages the following key characteristics:

  1. a single market and production base;
  2. a highly competitive economic region;
  3. a region of equitable economic development; and,
  4. a region fully integrated into the global economy.

The AEC areas of cooperation include human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC.

The ASEAN Leaders adopted the ASEAN Economic Blueprint at the 13th ASEAN Summit on 20 November 2007 in Singapore to serve as a coherent master plan guiding the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015.

Source: ASEAN website


WHO FCTC implementation after Philip Morris v Uruguay: five key messages from the Award

Suzanne Zhou, 19 August 2016, McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer

On 8 July 2016, the arbitral tribunal constituted to hear Philip Morris’ challenge to Uruguay’s tobacco packaging and labelling measures under a 1988 bilateral investment treaty between Switzerland and Uruguay handed down its Award, dismissing all of Philip Morris’ claims against Uruguay’s large graphic health warnings and its ‘single presentation requirement’, a requirement that tobacco manufacturers produce no more than one variant of a single brand family of cigarettes.

The Award strongly affirms the sovereign right of states to regulate in the public interest, including for public health. It emphasises the policy space that states have under international investment treaties, affirms that it is not the role of international tribunals to second-guess states’ regulatory decisions on complex public policy matters and makes a number of more general statements about evidence and approach that will be relevant to challenges in other fora.



McConnell Comment on TPP Ends Obama's Chance to Close Deal

Ellyn Ferguson, 26 August 2016, Roll Call

The Senate will not vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year because of “serious flaws” in the agreement, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a farm group, effectively ending President Barack Obama’s drive for congressional approval before he leaves office in January.

Obama has touted the 12-nation agreement as an ambitious undertaking that he hoped would be the centerpiece of his trade legacy.



Tobacco companies get partial win in FDA labeling fight

Jessica Dye, 17 August 2016, Reuters

Tobacco companies notched a partial victory in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority to require pre-clearance for tobacco products with changed labels or quantities.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday vacated part of an FDA directive stating tobacco companies may need the agency's clearance to market products with significant labeling modifications, such as a change in color or logo.



Graphic warnings help reduce smoking – US study

29 August 2016, Manila Times

GRAPHIC warnings printed on cigarette packs about the dangerous effects of smoking have encouraged more smokers to reduce smoking or quit the habit altogether than text-only warnings, a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina has found.

The study, entitled “The impact of strengthening cigarette pack warnings: Systematic review of longitudinal observational studies,” was carried out by a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.



Cigarette price hike may scare smokers: researcher

Anton Hermansyah, 23 August 2016, The Jakarta Post

Plans to increase cigarette prices to Rp 50,000 (US$4) per pack from currently Rp 15,000, will be effective to reduce the number of smokers as it will be shock therapy for them, says a researcher.

University of Indonesia's Demographic Institute researcher Abdillah Ahsan said the demand price elasticity for cigarettes varied between 0.1 and 0.8, depending on cigarette brands with the more closer to zero meaning the more inelastic prices were.



Government warned of cigarette price increase

21 August 2016, Antara News

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The governments reported plan to significantly hike cigarette prices has sparked pros and cons reactions from various circles such as cigarette industries, lawmakers and other quarters.

Chairman of the Indonesian White Cigarette Producers Association (Gaprindo), Muhaimin Moefti, expressed worries that the plan if implemented would harm cigarette industries. Some factories can face bankruptcy and close down.




Partner 1

  • Action on Smoking and Health, US
  • Harrison Institute, Georgetown University Law Center
  • International Islamic University of Malaysia
  • Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance
  • Vietnam University of Commerce