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Your Online Resource Center on Tobacco, Trade, Investment, and Public Health
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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.

Questions/Comments: Please feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • 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

  • 7th ECTOH to be held on 22-25 March 2017

    The 7th European Conference Tobacco or Health (ECTOH) will be held on Porto in 22-25 March 2017.

    The Portuguese League Against Cancer (LPCC) is organizing this venue under the auspices of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL).


    As the burden of tobacco in Europe and in the world is still enormous, it is of utmost importance that tobacco control remains our top priority. The goal of our conference is to mobilize people/citizens to improve health through tobacco control policies in Europe and Worldwide.

  • World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2017

    Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is "Tobacco – a threat to development."


    About the campaign: It will demonstrate the threats that the tobacco industry poses to the sustainable development of all countries, including the health and economic well-being of their citizens. It will propose measures that governments and the public should take to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.

  • 5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health to be held on June 13 - 16, 2017 in Uruguay

    The InterAmerican Heart Foundation (IAHF), the Uruguayan Honorary Commission for Cardiovascular Health (CHSCV) and the Uruguayan Honorary Commission Against Cancer (CHLCC) have announced the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health, which will take place on June 13 - 16, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay.

    This conference will bring together tobacco control researchers, specialists in treatment, and experts in policy change from the region and around the world to share and apply the latest evidence.

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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

  • WTO Delays Ruling In High-Stakes Tobacco Packaging Battle

    Alex Lawson, Law360, 06 December 2016 – The World Trade Organization will not issue a ruling on whether Australia's "plain packaging" tobacco law usurps foreign companies' intellectual property rights until May, according to WTO documents circulated Tuesday, delaying a decision that was slated to arrive by the end of 2016. A single WTO panel is weighing cases launched by the governments of Indonesia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Honduras asserting that Australian laws that ban all distinct branding from cigarette packages in favor of graphic warnings about the danger of the products. The case has teed up a high-stakes fight over the intersection of intellectual property rights and public health safeguards.

  • Australia’s plain cigarette packs get more support than expected

    Carolyn Crist, Reuters, 08 December 2016 – Young Australians say they're less likely to try smoking and more likely to quit since the country's mandatory plain packaging for all tobacco products was implemented, according to a new study. In telephone surveys of Australians 12 to 24 years old, between 15 percent and 20 percent of non-smokers, ex-smokers and experimental smokers alike said the plain packaging made them less likely to take up smoking. A third of current smokers said they tried to quit or thought about quitting because of the packaging.

  • Multinationals launch 50 lawsuits worth $31b against Asian nations

    Thuy Ong, ABC News, 08 December 2016 – A new report has found that corporations have launched 50 lawsuits, worth at least $US31 billion, using secret international arbitration tribunals against 11 countries in the Asian region. The countries affected are currently negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. RCEP is being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asian region, including China, Australia, Japan, India and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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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