Special Issue: Legal Issues in Tobacco Control
Posted: 3 May 2018
Date Written: 2012
As evidence of tobacco's devastating effect on human health has grown in recent decades, States' regulatory efforts to restrict tobacco use have correspondingly increased. A key international response to the globalisation of the tobacco epidemic has been the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ('WHO FCTC'), which opened for signature in 2003 and entered into force in 2005. The WHO FCTC has also influenced the development of domestic tobacco policy, such as Australia's recent passage of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (Cth), and public consultations towards similar mandatory plain packaging schemes in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. At the same time, a perception of tension has arisen between heightened public health regulation in the tobacco sector and States' obligations under international trade and investment agreements. This tension lies very much at the heart of a series of recent and ongoing domestic and international disputes concerning tobacco products. This TDM Special Issue offers a timely look at these issues in the lead-up to the Fifth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC, to be held from 12 to 17 November 2012 in Seoul ('COP5'). The contributors to the Special Issue discuss a range of disputes and negotiations concerning tobacco control regulation, offering insights into the legal questions at issue, their political ramifications, and their future resolution. The contributions address the broad themes of trade and investment in tobacco, the WHO and the WHO FCTC, plain tobacco packaging, and flavoured cigarettes, as explained below.
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