Medicine and Public Health: Tobacco Out of Trade Agreements!
SAN FRANCISCO, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Medicine and public health groups including the AAP, AAFP, ACPM, AMA, AMSA, APHA and CPATH are continuing to urge the US Trade Representative and the FDA to maintain the ban on clove cigarettes, despite the adverse ruling by a World Trade Organization dispute panel in the U.S. — Clove Cigarettes case, DS 406. The dispute panel’s decision is scheduled to be presented to the World Trade Organization for final approval on April 24, 2012.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act granted authority to the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the manufacture, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect public health and reduce tobacco use in minors in June, 2009. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, clove cigarettes, which typically contain a mixture of tobacco, cloves, and other additives, are associated with lung diseases.
The WTO dispute panel found in favor of Indonesia, the primary exporter of clove cigarettes, which charged that the ban violates trade rules that require countries to treat foreign and domestic products equally.
The letter states, “We share the government’s disappointment in this poorly founded decision. Indonesia has already announced its intention to resume exporting clove cigarettes to the U.S., exposing young people to this addictive and deadly product.
“We urge the U.S. not to retreat from implementing this important health policy. To protect against further unwarranted threats to tobacco control measures and to public health, we call on the U.S. to exclude tobacco products and tobacco control measures from future and current trade agreements.”
Signers: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association, American Public Health Association, Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH)
SOURCE Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH)