Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Tobacco and trade restrictions

I wrote in November:
It looks like somebody from the Prime Minister's Office in Canada is going to have to have a quiet chat with the healthists over at Health Canada. Terrence Corcoran reports that Health Canada gave the Prime Minister a nice little candy-coated landmine.

In last year's election campaign, Harper promised to crack down on flavoured tobacco products which he characterized as being marketed to children. The campaign promise was to knock out bubble gum flavoured tobacco. The legislation crafted by Health Canada wound up banning the majority of imported cigarettes, including Marlborough and Camels, most of which use some flavouring agents which are on the list of 5,000 now banned ingredients.
And today, Puddlecote says:
All that guff about fair trade and protecting the livelihoods of African farmers righteously flies out the window when it suits.
Nairobi — Tanzania's delegation to the World Trade Organisation will appeal against a proposed Bill by Canada that seeks to ban the use of ingredients in cigarette brands saying it will affect tobacco farmers globally.

The Tanzanian delegation will also raise the issue of the Canadian ban being incorporated into the draft guidelines (Art. 9 and 10) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) at the World Health Organisation.

In October 2009, Canada adopted a new law (the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act) that will effectively ban the manufacture and sale of traditional blended cigarettes - and will thereby indirectly significantly reduce imports of the burley and oriental tobacco used in such cigarettes.
'Cos we care about you Africans, really we do ... but only when you're producing bananas and coffee.
The legislation was "aimed" at flavoured tobaccos, to help protect the children. Interesting how it pans out.


  1. Its very weird to see such specific legislation enacted across countries (Obama did the same thing wrt flavored tabacco). Do lobby groups have significant international arms?

  2. Anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol are multinational NGOs that coordinate through the WHO. Google around for the Framework Convention cited above. Egads. And note my prior post on the WHO's war on alcohol (hit the WHO tag at right).