Making Trade Work for Public Health

(HuffPo originally published this article.)

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the world today. Developing countries are now the top tobacco-consuming nations, where men and women are addicted to tobacco at higher rates than in developed countries, and have less success stopping.

Nations have responded in domestic law by implementing warning labels and anti-teen smoking measures, and in international law through the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

But international law may actually be hurting as much or more than it’s helping.

Earlier this year, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against US efforts to reduce teen smoking. Elsewhere, tobacco multinational Philip Morris is using international investment treaties to target so-called plain-packing laws in Australia and Uruguay. Philip Morris has also been supportive of three pending challenges of the Australian legislation at the WTO.

In this month’s Transnational Dispute Management journal, I explore the first dispute, over the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act…

(To continue reading, please go to the Gates HuffPo page.)

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