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FCTC guidelines on tobacco industry foreign investment would strengthen controls on tobacco supply and close loopholes in the tobacco treaty
  1. Chang-fa Lo
  1. College of Law, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Chang-fa Lo, College of Law, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, No 1, Sector 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan; lohuang{at}


The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) contains no provisions covering tobacco industry investments. This creates the potential for tobacco companies to benefit from investment liberalisation by using foreign investments to avoid tobacco tariffs, increase tobacco consumption and otherwise impair the implementation of FCTC-style measures. Reducing and ultimately eliminating foreign investment activities by tobacco companies can be justified on health grounds, even though it runs counter to current investment liberalisation trends. Through the FCTC process, non-binding guidelines can be elaborated to assist parties in recognising and responding to foreign investment strategies of tobacco companies, to support efforts to exclude the tobacco sector from investment liberalisation and otherwise would improve all countries' awareness of the threat from foreign investment strategies of tobacco companies and provide them with approaches to handle the problems.

  • Tobacco product
  • tobacco control
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  • Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
  • taxation and price
  • tobacco products

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.