Tobacco Firms’ Strategy Limits Poorer Nations’ Smoking Laws

Author: Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, Published on: 13 December 2013

Tobacco companies are pushing back against a worldwide rise in antismoking laws...[by] warning countries that their tobacco laws violate an expanding web of trade and investment treaties, raising the prospect of costly, prolonged legal battles, health advocates and officials said. Industry officials say that there are only a few cases of active litigation, and that giving a legal opinion to governments is routine for major players whose interests will be affected. But tobacco opponents say the strategy is intimidating low- and middle-income countries from tackling one of the gravest health threats facing them: smoking. More than five million people die annually of smoking-related causes, more than from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, according to the World Health Organization. [refers to Philip Morris International & British American Tobacco]

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Related companies: British American Tobacco Philip Morris International