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International issues in the supply of tobacco: recent changes and implications for alcohol

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This paper reviews international issues in the supply of tobacco and tobacco products, including trade liberalization and globalization. The paper begins with a brief discussion of the theoretical foundations for trade and trade restrictions. This is followed by a description of the treatment of tobacco and tobacco products in recent multi-lateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements, as well as a short discussion of the recent globalization of the tobacco industry. Included in this description is a review of the empirical evidence on the impact of trade liberalization on tobacco use. The implications of two recently proposed international agreements - the Multilateral Agreement on Investments and the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control - are then discussed. The paper concludes by summarizing the theoretical and empirical evidence that shows clearly that trade liberalization has significantly increased tobacco use, particularly in low and middle-income countries, and follows this with a discussion of the lessons learned from tobacco for controlling alcohol supply.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Health Economics Program, National Bureau of Economic Research and ImpacTeen, UIC Health Research and Policy Centers, Chicago, IL, USA 2: Department of Economics, University of Chicago at Illinois, Chicago, IL, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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