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
Lee, K; Pang, T (2014) WHO: retirement or reinvention? Public Health 128:119-23
Lee, Kelley (2014) Health policy in Asia and the Pacific: Navigating local needs and global challenges. Asia Pac Policy Stud 1:45-57
Lee, Kelley (2014) Canada: Twisting the legacy name. Tob Control 23:372-3
Lee, Kelley; Kamradt-Scott, Adam (2014) The multiple meanings of global health governance: a call for conceptual clarity. Global Health 10:28
Hawkins, Benjamin; McCambridge, Jim (2014) Industry actors, think tanks, and alcohol policy in the United kingdom. Am J Public Health 104:1363-9
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Gilmore, Anna B; Fooks, Gary; McKee, Martin (2011) A review of the impacts of tobacco industry privatisation: Implications for policy. Glob Public Health 6:621-42
Lee, Kelley; Chagas, Luiz Carlos; Novotny, Thomas E (2010) Brazil and the framework convention on tobacco control: global health diplomacy as soft power. PLoS Med 7:e1000232

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