Tobacco companies have been using trade and investment agreements to challenge and undermine anti-smoking health policies – threatening the ability of countries to protect the health of their citizens. For example, Philip Morris International sued Uruguay under a bilateral investment treaty over policies to counter the tobacco industry’s use of the deceptive marketing terms.
Uruguay’s anti-smoking initiatives have received accolades from the World Health Organization; including a law requiring 80% of cigarette packaging to contain health risk warnings and a ban on variations in packaging that suggest lower health risks from some tobacco products. Philip Morris demanded millions in compensation and elimination of the policy, which applies to both domestic and foreign tobacco brands. The case is still pending.
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