The tobacco industry is prone to more attention because theproducts being manufactured and marketed; while legal, is known to cause severehealth issues such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and even premature death.Tobacco products are profitable commodities as well as a major health hazard. Tobaccocompanies make products and promote them in a way that allows them to remainprofitable and increase their production and consumer consumption despite thelink of to severe health concerns. In today’s world there are various sources of data that showa definite link to smoking and determinate health concerns.
It is evident thattobacco has various negative effects on users including that it kills users or they end up with severe healthissues, It can worsen poverty and world hunger by divert foodproduction, it can cause damage the airand environment, and while it transnational companies do employindividuals it can be looked at as a waste of labor, resources and capital. Figure1: Annual Deaths Attributable toCigarette Smoking—United States, 2005–2009International TradeTobacco is one of the biggest businesses in our world.Tobacco plants are prevalent to the American regions and a major crop grown byU.S farmers. Cultivated for its leaves after they have dried, it is thentreated for chewing and or smoking.
The major tobacco manufacturing countriestoday are China, Brazil, India, USA and Indonesia. In fact the China NationalTobacco Co. is the leading tobacco company today by volume. After severalmergers and acquisitions during the 1990s and 2000s, 4 companies have dominatedin this market internationally; they are Philip Morris International, JapanTobacco, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco.The liberalization of trade of tobacco has led to the reductionof prices on tobacco products of e importing countries because countries cannow compete with each other due to moderate prices of foreign tobacco products.The international trade agreements in place have allowed us to deliver numeroussignificant opportunities to the for the tobacco industry to secure andmaintain its long standing power and influence.
As international financial institutions and internationaltrade continues to rises so does their influence on public health and it hasbecome crucial that challenging priorities be assessed and evaluated sensibly.Leaders and the governments that regulate and determine trade policies as wellas economic policies need to develop initiatives and strong policies thatsafeguard the public health, protect human rights and the defend populationhealth. Any trade off ought to be made with paramount thought.Culture Tobaccocan bring pleasure to users and is a tool used for releasing stress andbringing calm to consumers. In addition,tobacco products have a unique link to the personal and social identities ofindividuals. Therefore there is a huge demand for these products.
If steps wereto be taken to curb the tobacco industry, one of the largest sources of revenuefor the government, there may be negative repercussions. Since tobacco productsare legal then the manufacturing and distribution of tobacco products arelegal. Therefore, transnational companies such as Phillip Morris and BAT arenot doing anything unethical about the organization manufacturing, selling ormarketing those types of goods to people who can legally purchase them. Many cultural influences govern tobacco usage within severalglobal populations particularly for migrants who have shared a mutual area of origin;part of ethnic uniqueness may powerfully sway culturally specified tobaccopatterns.
As a traditional characteristic smoking is renowned in music,movies, plays and literature. Idolized movie stars have imparted a sense ofglamour and romance to this habit with the portrayal of super heroes achievingthe impossible with a cigarette in their hands. The prevalent use tobacco andtobacco products are higher in numerous nations, particularly in Asia, theMediterranean, and sub-Saharan Africa (The Tobacco Atlas, n.d.).Figure 2:Cigarette use globally.
Figure 3: Topcigarette-consuming countries in 2014 (in trillion cigarettes) Figure 3shows that China is noted as the biggest consumer of tobacco products. It alsoreflects that China consumed 2.57 trillion cigarettes in2014, whereas Russia and the United States rounded up the top 3 countries incigarette consumption (“Tobacco Industry,” n.d.). Thepercentage of tobacco smokers in the United States has been on the decline andthis can be contributed to the access of knowledge on the effect and impacts ofsmoking. Americans now look towards living cleaner and longer lives and withthe knowledge that smoking can significantly hamper your life and lead tocancer or even death more individuals are prone to quitting.
Whereas in theChinese culture smoking is a connection to masculine identity. It is a societalform of acceptance or brotherhood. In addition, the lack of public educationcan be attributed to the high levels of smoking in China and the Chinesegovernment largely relies heavily on the tobacco industry.InvestmentGlobalizationinfluences the way the world does business for all goods and services,including tobacco (“Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control,” n.d.).
Though evidence demonstrates that the liberalization of the tobacco trade will resultin the eradication of import hurdles this still leads to momentous growths inconsumption, far less is identified about the effect of foreign directinvestment on cigarette consumption. Whetherit’s an evolving or developed world, foreign direct investment is more vital nowin catalyzing growth, (Burnson, n.d.). The tobacco industry is one of themost profitable long-term investments in the stock market, but it has not beenwithout controversy. Tobacco industries are known to utilize internationaltrade agreements as an opportunity to open in markets in middle or low incomecountries leading to increased consumption use and profitability of thetransnational companies. On the flip side there have been numerous studies thatshow a link to significant tobacco use and severe health risks and prematuredeaths.
Inthe United States majority of investor’s concentrate on the local domesticcigarette market, as this happens to be one of the largest markets in the world.However, the Chinese people happen to be the biggest smokers of cigarettes ofany nation, and even on a per-capita basis, Russia and other nations in theEastern European region have higher smoking rates than the U.S (Caplinger,2014). Tobacco is quite frankly not like other any other customer products inthe market and as such not be treated in the same way in trade and investmentagreements. Figure 4:The Top 5 Largest International Tobacco Companies Energy The tobaccoindustry damages the environment in many ways, and in ways that go far beyondthe effects of the smoke that cigarettes put into the air when they are smoked.The critical consequence of the tobacco industry on weather or climate change,deforestation, litter, and the total sum of forest fires are enormous and uninterruptedlygrowing (“Environmental Harm,” n.
d.).Figure5 below shows the amount of energy used to maketobacco products as reported by some companies as reported by the World HealthOrganization. Figure 5:Total reported energy use of major tobacco companies.
Transnational tobacco companies are the biggest consumers ofenergy mainly in the production or manufacturing process. Several of the mainenvironmental costs of one tobacco product alone such as a cigarette can amountto huge amounts of water, energy and other resources to be able to manufacturethe product and there is a large amount of waste also generated in theproduction process (WHO, n.d.
). A typical cigarette producer location consumes aboutsixty thousand MWh of energy per year. Approximately fifty five percent of theenergy that comes from burning fossil fuels (mostly coal, fuel oil, and/ornatural gas) along with the outstanding fortyfive percent coming form an electricity supplier (“Tobacco Solutions -CENDID,” n.
d.).The manufacturing and logistics operations of tobaccocompanies utilize the most energy and resources. Several transnational tobaccocompanies recognize the need to reduce environmental impacts of theiroperations to reduce the carbon footprint while addressing their energy use.
Some companies have noted there is a need to explore and implement prospectsfor renewable energy. This will call for these businesses to adopt alternativerenewable resources and technologies.International FinancialInstitutionsTheInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) has promoted the lifting of traderestrictions on tobacco and the privatization of state-owned tobacco industriesas part of its loan conditions (Gilmore A , et al., n.d.).
The privatization ofthe tobacco industry will only stimulate tobacco use in borrowing countries.The IMF’s action will lead to the increase use of tobacco products.TheWorld Bank Group’s Global Tobacco Control Program (GTCP) supports all countriesfostering and implementing tobacco tax reforms to attain public health objectivesby reducing tobacco affordability and consumption, and for mobilizing domesticresources to expand the fiscal space to fund priority programs and investmentsthat use the whole populace, and monitoring illicit trade on tobacco by supportingcustoms systems (“Tobacco,” n.
d.). Back in 1991, the World Bank sanctioneda mandatory operative plan not to loan, invest in, or promise investments or creditsfor tobacco manufacturing, marketing or production. The World Bank’s actions inthe health sector is to dishearten the usage of tobacco and tobacco products,with the hope that higher taxes on tobacco products will reduce tobacco intakeand progress community health and rising government revenues that can be usedto fund priority investments and programs aimed at helping the wholepopulation.
International LawInternational law does not have a Parliament and not anythingcan really be labeled as legislation. While there is an International Court ofJustice and a range of specialized international courts and tribunals, theirjurisdiction is critically dependent upon the consent of States and absence of whatcan be defined as obligatory control of the kind possessed by national courts(Greenwood, n.d.). The tobacco industry has anextensive history of using trade agreements to expand into new markets. In facttransnational firms turn to trade and investment agreements to contest themeasures put in place to decrease tobacco use. The tobacco industry has beenlong plagued with its use of litigation to interfere with tobacco controllegislation in addition of its common strategies of spreading misinformationvia the its mass media campaigns, its lobbying and exploitation of loopholeswithin the tobacco control laws. The key organization in the governance of international tradeand investment is the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The first public health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control(FCTC) expressed “concern of international communities on the disturbingworldwide health, social, economic, and environmental concerns of tobaccoconsumption and exposure to tobacco smoke” (The American Society ofInternational Law, n.d.). The WHO FCTC was established in reaction to theglobalization of the tobacco epidemic.
The large scope of the tobacco endemicis aided by a range of multifaceted aspects with cross-border effects,including trade liberalization and direct foreign investment. Summary andConclusion Our inundated culture,circumstances, stress, peer pressure and advertising all seem to be factorsthat promote the use of tobacco. In an effort to further their market growththe industries top tobacco manufacturers are creating pharmaceutical devicesand products to ensure permanent nicotine consumption from smokers, would bequitters and new nicotine users. Transnational tobacco companies have nowmaking an industry wide shift as pharmaceutical companies by diversifying theirproduct lines to include more socially acceptable alternatives nicotineproducts. These major tobacco sellers or manufacturers are now aggressivelypromoting smoking to individuals in low and middle-income countries with lowsocioeconomic status who are the ones that suffer more from the harms oftobacco due to their limited access to care of early discovery and treatment oftobacco correlated ailments. The introduction of E-cigarettes or electronictobacco products are purported to be the tobacco companies answer toindividuals quitting smoking.
However there is no enough data to see theeffects of these new innovative products.