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Human rights and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: mutually reinforcing systems1

  • Oscar A. Cabrera (a1) and Lawrence O. Gostin (a1)

This article explores the connection between human rights and tobacco control, and in particular, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). We address rights-based arguments used by the tobacco industry to argue against tobacco regulation. We demonstrate the weakness of these arguments, and that tobacco control and human rights are, in fact, not in conflict, but are mutually reinforcing. We also offer counter-arguments in favour of tobacco regulation based on international human rights obligations. Moreover, we argue that international human rights law and human rights bodies can provide tobacco control advocates with avenues for international monitoring and enforceability, which are lacking in the FCTC.

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Some of the arguments developed in this article are based on a report drafted by the co-authors and staff of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law (2011). The authors would like to thank Maximiliano Levin, O'Neill Institute research assistant, for his research support. We would also like to thank the O'Neill Institute staff and fellows that reviewed early drafts of this article, in particular, Juan Carballo, Kate Stewart and Susan Kim.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Robert Beaglehole , Ruth Bonita , Richard Horton , Cary Adams , George Alleyne , Perviz Asaria (2011) ‘Priority Actions for the Non-Communicable Disease Crisis’, The Lancet 377(9775): 1438–47.

Oscar Cabrera and Alejandro Madrazo (2010) ‘Human Rights as a Tool for Tobacco Control in Latin America’, Salud Publica de Mexico 52: 288–97.

Carolyn Dresler and Stephen Marks (2006) ‘The Emerging Human Right to Tobacco Control’, Human Rights Quarterly 28: 599651.

Majid Ezzati and Alan Lopez (2003) ‘Estimates of Global Mortality Attributable to Smoking in 2000’, The Lancet 362(9387): 847–52.

Lawrence O. Gostin (2007a) ‘Global Regulatory Strategies for Tobacco Control’, Journal of the American Medical Association 298(17): 2057–59.

Lawrence O. Gostin (2007b) ‘The Tobacco Wars: Global Litigation Strategies’, Journal of the American Medical Association 298(21): 2537–39.

Lawrence O. Gostin (2008) Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint, 2nd edn.Berkeley: University of California Press.

Peter Jacobson and Soheil Soliman (2002) ‘Co-Opting the Health and Human Rights Movements’, Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 30(4): 605715.

Ida E. Koch (2003) ‘The Justiciability of Indivisible Rights’, Nordic Journal of International Law 72: 339.

Ida E. Koch (2005) ‘Dichotomies, Trichotomies or Waves of Duties?’, Human Rights Law Review 5(1): 81103.

Ana Navas-acien , Armando Peruga , Patrick Breysse , Alfonso Zavaleta , Adriana Blanco-marquizo , Raul Pitarque (2004) ‘Secondhand Tobacco Smoke in Public Places in Latin America, 2002–2003’, Journal of the American Medical Association 291(22): 2741–45.

T. Novotny and D. Carlin (2005) ‘Ethical and Legal Aspects of Tobacco Control’, Tobacco Control 14(Supp 2): ii26–30.

Allyn Taylor (2005) ‘Trade, Human Rights and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: Just What the Doctor Ordered?’, in Joost Pauwelyn Thomas Cottier and Elisabeth Bürgi (eds) Human Rights and International Trade. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 322–33.

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International Journal of Law in Context
  • ISSN: 1744-5523
  • EISSN: 1744-5531
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-law-in-context
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