Redesigning government regulations towards a tobacco endgame strategy: a comparative law approach
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Alliance for Improved Health Outcomes, Philippines
University of the Philippines, College of Law, Philippines
Health Justice Philippines, Philippines
University of the Philippines-Diliman, College of Law, Philippines
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A37
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Developments in international law, after international tribunals' respective rulings in Philip Morris Asia Ltd. v. Australia (2017) and Philip Morris v. Uruguay (2016), have re-articulated and re-affirmed States' police power to carry out non-discriminatory regulation for the protection of public health in accordance with due process. This norm allows domestic legal systems to reframe tobacco industry regulation in many ways, one of which is towards nationalisation or public monopolisation, with the end-goal of decreasing supply vis-à-vis demand reduction through smoking cessation, denormalisation, and health promotion strategies.

Intervention or response:
A critical review of sources of law (i.e., conventional and customary international law, and domestic constitutions and statutes) using a comparative law approach in several jurisdictions was done to define the norm described and set its scope and limits. Using the Philippines as a more in-depth case study considering its hybrid legal regime, which incorporates both civil and common legal traditions, a normative or law-making process designed for a tobacco endgame strategy has been formulated.

Results and lessons learnt:
When incorporated in domestic jurisdictions and in consonance to treaty obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the norm described can potentially carve out an exception to general anti-monopolistic measures seen in many jurisdictions. Legal analysis of the Philippine Constitution shows that public monopolisation of the tobacco industry was considered during the debates of the Constitutional Commission, therefore qualifying the anti-monopoly provisions of country´s charter. Harmonising constitutional intent with international legal obligations allows the Legislature to craft statutes designed for a tobacco endgame strategy in the country.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Incorporation of international law in domestic law allows States to formulate tobacco endgame strategies through legislative and/or executive actions. The formulation based on the Philippines could be a basis for other States to formulate their respective end game strategies, taking into consideration their unique political, cultural, economic, and epidemiological contexts.

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