Tobacco & Trade: A Global Effort to Undermine Public Health (2015)

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tobacco and international trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, have been in the news a lot lately. This Tobacco Control Legal Consortium webinar provides an overview of the controversy over tobacco in international trade and the impact of free-trade tobacco on global public health. Speakers describe the worldwide tobacco problem and the tobacco industry’s historic use of litigation as a tool to thwart global tobacco control efforts. The webinar also provides a brief update on current international tobacco trade litigation.

This webinar has already occurred. Please view the recording here or download the Powerpoint presentation slides here.


Chris Bostic
Deputy Director for Policy, ASH: Action on Smoking & Health

Chris Bostic is ASH’s Deputy Director for Policy, and has been working in global tobacco control since 2001 when he attended the negotiations for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a civil society international law expert.

Chris has worked on tobacco policy at the local, state, national and international levels. Prior to joining ASH, he worked with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Lung Association, where he helped to develop SLATI (State-Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues), which is a national database of tobacco control regulations. He has also served as a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

In 2009, Chris led the efforts of an international coalition to redevelop a civil society shadow reporting program for the FCTC, culminating in the periodic publication of Tobacco Watch, which tracks global implementation of the treaty. He became Deputy Director of ASH in 2012.

In his current position, Chris oversees the development and implementation of ASH’s programs including trade, industry monitoring, human rights and legal issues. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Human Rights Tobacco Control Network, and a legal counsel to the Framework Convention Alliance on Tobacco Control. He is also a founding member of the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium.

Chris holds a juris doctorate from the Washington College of Law, and a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University.

Gregg Haifley
Director, Federal Relations, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network 

Based in Washington, DC, Gregg handles Congressional and Executive Branch advocacy on tobacco, physical activity, and nutrition issues for the American Cancer Society's non-profit, non-partisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN.  He was part of the team that successfully convinced the Congress to pass the landmark Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing and sale of tobacco products.  Gregg has for several years been working very actively with Congress and the Obama administration to stop treating the tobacco industry as just another business in the terms being negotiated in international trade and investment agreements.

Gregg was also involved in the Congressional passage of the 2009 increase of the U.S federal tobacco tax - the largest ever increase in the federal tobacco tax. Gregg has a long history of health law advocacy. Prior to joining ACS CAN, he worked for several years at the Children's Defense Fund, where he was involved in Congressional passage of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) law which provides health care coverage to more than 6 million children who would otherwise have been uninsured for health care.

Benn McGrady
Technical Officer (Legal), World Health Organization

Benn McGrady, Ph.D., directs the O'Neill Institute Initiative on Trade, Investment and Health and is an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches International Trade and Health and co-teaches Public Health and International Investment Law.

Benn's research examines the intersection of public international law and health, with a particular focus on international trade and investment law and regulation of risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Benn has advised public health bodies, foreign governments and inter-governmental organizations on various aspects of public international law and has particular experience advising on the implications of international trade and investment agreements for domestic public health measures as well as on legal issues concerning the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Originally from Australia, Dr. McGrady holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Laws (hons) and a doctorate from Monash University in Melbourne, as well as a Master of Laws (dist) (Global Health Law) from the Georgetown University Law School.


Doug Blanke
Director, Public Health Law Center 

Doug Blanke is founder and director of the Public Health Law Center and chair of the Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi Endowed Directorship.  He oversees all its programs, with a focus on encouraging healthier lives, including work to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use, prevent childhood obesity, support healthy eating and encourage physical activity.

Doug’s international work has included monitoring development of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control for the American Lung Association and editing the World Health Organization's handbook on tobacco control legislation.  Previously, as an assistant attorney general of the State of Minnesota, he played a key role in the historic Minnesota litigation that resulted in the release of thirty-five million pages of secret tobacco industry documents.  He was the 2004 recipient of the American Lung Association's C. Everett Koop "Unsung Hero" Award for his contributions to tobacco control.