This project aims to strengthen tobacco control policies by generating new knowledge of how the tobacco industry has adapted to and, in turn, shaped the global economy. Tobacco use kills around 5 million people annually worldwide, predicted to rise to 8 million by 2030 if current trends are not addressed. While stronger tobacco control measures have begun to be adopted by many countries, supported by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, effective regulation of the tobacco industry at the national, regional and global levels has become more difficult to advance amid ongoing processes of globalization.
This research aims to understand the dual and dynamic relationship between the tobacco industry and globalization. Building on Phases I and II, it analyses how the industry has been affected by, and has adapted to, economic globalization;and conversely, how the global economy has been shaped by industry influences. This will be achieved by focusing on four key themes: (a) how the tobacco industry has sought to influence trade and investment policy at the national, regional and global levels, and how this has benefitted industry strategies to restructure and expand worldwide;(b) how the illicit tobacco trade has been a key component of broader corporate strategies to adapt to, shape and operate within an increasingly global economy;(c) how tobacco companies have restructured to further their interests within a global economy;and (d) how corporations should be governed within a global economy to ensure the protection and promotion of population health. Each theme will produce new analysis of strategically important activities, geographies, institutions and strategies. Carried out by a highy experience and multi-disciplinary project team, and supported by an Advisory Committee of leading international experts, the research will combine document-based research with key informant interviews. Document research will use on-line and on-site internal industry document collections that continue to grow in size and scope. This will be supplemented by customs records, trade/investment data, industry websites and grey literature. Key informant interviews will draw on the research team's worldwide network of contacts. Overall, the proposed research will conduct groundbreaking new research for meeting the public health challenges against tobacco-related diseases within an evolving global economy.

Public Health Relevance

The global economy has facilitated the expansion of the tobacco industry worldwide through the development of new products, markets and corporate strategies. This expansion is expected to increase deaths from tobacco use annually, from 5 million in 2012 to 8 million in 2030. Stronger tobacco control policies have begun to be adopted by governments, supported by the World Health Organization, but effective regulation by individual countries, and collectively across countries, has become more difficult because of continuing processes of globalization. This research will generate new knowledge of tobacco industry activities and strategies within the changing global economy that, in turn, will inform th strengthening of tobacco control measures at the national, regional and global levels.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
Program Officer
Bloch, Michele H
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Simon Fraser University
Zip Code
V5 1-S6
Hawkins, Benjamin; Holden, Chris (2016) A Corporate Veto on Health Policy? Global Constitutionalism and Investor-State Dispute Settlement. J Health Polit Policy Law 41:969-95
Fang, Jennifer; Lee, Kelley; Sejpal, Nidhi (2016) The China National Tobacco Corporation: From domestic to global dragon? Glob Public Health :1-20
Smith, Julia; Lee, Kelley (2016) Protecting the plain packaging consultation from tobacco industry interference. CMAJ 188:E340-E341
Smith, Julia; Thompson, Sheryl; Lee, Kelley (2016) The atlas network: a ""strategic ally"" of the tobacco industry. Int J Health Plann Manage :
MacKenzie, Ross; Rogers, Wendy (2016) New insights into smoking cessation question the effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy. J Clin Epidemiol 79:168-169
LeGresley, Eric; Lee, Kelley (2016) Analysis of British American Tobacco's questionable use of privilege and protected document claims at the Guildford Depository. Tob Control :
MacKenzie, Ross; Rogers, Wendy (2016) Letter to the Editor: New Study Raises Questions about Effectiveness of Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Public Health Ethics 9:229-230
Lee, Kelley; Carrillo Botero, Natalia; Novotny, Thomas (2016) 'Manage and mitigate punitive regulatory measures, enhance the corporate image, influence public policy': industry efforts to shape understanding of tobacco-attributable deforestation. Global Health 12:55
Eckhardt, Jappe; Poletti, Arlo (2016) The Politics of Global Value Chains: Import-dependent Firms and EU-Asia Trade Agreements. J Eur Public Policy 23:1543-1562
Smith, Julia; Thompson, Sheryl; Lee, Kelley (2016) 'Public enemy no. 1': Tobacco industry funding for the AIDS response. SAHARA J 13:41-52

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