Evolution of Tobacco Labeling and Packaging: International Legal Considerations and Health Governance

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Numerous national governments have recently adopted packaging and labeling legislation to curb global tobacco uptake. This coincides with the World Health Organization’s 2011 World No Tobacco Day, which recognized the extraordinary progress of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The tobacco industry has presented legal challenges to countries, including Australia, Uruguay, and the United States, for enacting legislation meeting or exceeding FCTC obligations.

We argue that national governments attempting to meet the obligations set forth in public health treaties such as the FCTC should be afforded flexibilities and protection in developing tobacco control laws and regulations, because these measures are necessary to protect public health and should be explicitly recognized in international trade and legal agreements.

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