Tuesday 6 December 2016

Trade deal could put Big Tobacco's interests before public health

Kathleen O'Meara

Published 20/08/2015 | 02:30

Japan Tobacco International has taken a case to the Commercial Court here challenging the introduction of plain cigarette packs
Japan Tobacco International has taken a case to the Commercial Court here challenging the introduction of plain cigarette packs

The tobacco industry has deep pockets. For instance, the profits of the world's six largest tobacco companies was US$44.1bn in 2013, which, according to independent analysts, is the equivalent of the combined profits of the Coca-Cola Company, Walt Disney, General Mills, FedEx, AT&T, Google, McDonald's and Starbucks in the same year.

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The industry uses these profits to resist measures being taken by governments all across the world to cut smoking and deaths from smoking.

The Irish Cancer Society is not surprised, then, that Japan Tobacco International has taken a case to the Commercial Court here challenging the introduction of plain cigarette packs, a measure designed to protect young people from the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and reduce smoking levels.

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