Tag: Tobacco


USTR: Export Good Tobacco Policies in the TPP

It has been widely touted that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks will lead to “a high-quality, twenty-first century agreement” that will set standards for future trade agreements.  But one proposal coming out of the 19th round of last week’s TPP talks falls far short of “high-quality” or “twenty-first century”, and may well block the export of some of the United States most successful policies against one of the world’s most pressing public health issues: tobacco. 

Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win for the Asia Pacific Region

While smoking is on the decline in Europe, the US, and other parts of the developed world, low- and middle-income countries are facing opposite trends in consumption. Currently 80% of all deaths attributable to tobacco occur in low- and middle income countries. Asia in particular faces high prevalence rates of tobacco use—the Western Pacific region accounts for 48% of world cigarette consumption. Part of the significant consumption can be attributed to the increasing affordability of tobacco products. Between 2000 and 2010 the relative income price of cigarettes decreased by 34% in South-East Asia and 18% in the West Pacific. See the fourth edition of the World Tobacco Atlas (2012) for more information.

Strong Talk on Tobacco from the World Bank, but …

… where’s the action?

The World Bank has said all the right things about putting its substantial influence behind sensible programs that generate revenue, cut health costs and save lives. So far, however, it has done little on a simple measure that would cost-effectively achieve all three of these goals: raising tobacco taxes.

Global Chronic Disease: It's Not All About the Money for Once

On September 20, heads of state and officials from every country in the world will meet at the United Nations to discuss the non-communicable diseases (NCD) -- heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and asthma -- that are responsible for 63 percent of global deaths annually. Contrary to popular belief, NCD do not primarily affect those of us living in wealthy countries; rather, 80 percent of NCD deaths occur in developing countries, mostly the middle-income countries.

Scaling Up Incentives for Better Tobacco Control Policies

As the world readies for the upcoming UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases, the importance of good tobacco control efforts has been (yet again) affirmed. Along with this renewed interest is discussion around innovations in the implementation of tobacco control policies. These changes don’t need to start from scratch; in fact it is arguable that the combination of two particularly “un-novel” solutions to tobacco control—taxation and policy based lending—may be the innovation we need to curb tobacco usage globally.

Turning the Tide in the War on Tobacco: Bill Savedoff

Most people understand the personal risks associated with smoking, but surprisingly few understand its impact globally. Every year, more people die from tobacco related illnesses than from HIV/Aids, TB and malaria combined. Nevertheless, governments and international aid agencies have yet to pay serious attention to what some believe to be one of the most needless disease burdens in human history.

Death by Tobacco: A Big Problem Needs Bigger Action

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a meeting to discuss tobacco control in New York City where I was reminded of the massive loss of life associated with tobacco use, the extremely cost-effective approaches available to combat tobacco use, and some very exciting progress around the world over the last five years. Nevertheless, controlling tobacco is still extremely challenging on the social and political fronts.

Where Is the U.S. on Global Tobacco?

In the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, visiting fellow Tom Bollyky and coauthor Lawrence Gostin make the case (gated) for increased U.S. engagement on global tobacco control. Tobacco use is currently the leading cause of disease and premature death in the world, tallying more deaths than HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria combined.