Final Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Includes Historic Tobacco Control Provision

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Statement of American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) President Chris Hansen

WASHINGTON – February 22, 2018 – This week, the final text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was released that includes a historic provision that protects the right of participating nations to adopt public health measures to reduce tobacco use and prevents tobacco companies from using the trade and investment agreement to launch legal attacks on such measures. The 11 participating countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam) are expected to sign the deal early next month in Chile.

The CPTPP tobacco provision was originally proposed by the United States and included in the final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade and investment agreement, but the current administration withdrew the United States from the deal in January of 2017 leading the other 11 countries to go forward with a CPTPP agreement without the United States.

Following is a statement from ACS CAN President Chris Hansen:

“For far too long the tobacco industry has worked to undermine efforts around the world to encourage smokers to quit and prevent the next generation from becoming addicted to products that kill when used as directed. This historic agreement will ensure that ratifying nations can enact tobacco control measures intended to improve public health without lengthy and expensive investment dispute interference from the tobacco industry.

“In this century, tobacco is projected to kill one billion people worldwide.  Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States and around the world, killing more than 6 million people each year globally, including 480,000 in the United States.

“The CPTPP agreement sets an important precedent for future trade and investment agreements to treat tobacco products and the tobacco industry differently. By approving this critical agreement, tobacco companies would not be able use the agreement to bully countries working to protect citizens from the deadly impact of tobacco use.

ACS CAN urges all nations to embrace this tobacco exception precedent in any future trade and investment agreements they may negotiate, including any renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the United States, Canada, and Mexico have all embraced the language in the TPP negotiations, and Canada and Mexico again embraced it in the CPTPP agreement.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

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