How ACTA stinks of Big Tobacco

If the industry that brings five million deaths a year to anyone involved in the development of public policy?

From the beginning, Big Tobacco is one of the driving forces for anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA). To my surprise, this important nugget of information was usually overlooked in the discussion of this controversial agreement.

Shortly thereafter, he became executive director of British American Tobacco (BAT) in 2004, Paul Adams took part in a conference on fraud organized by the World Customs Organization in Brussels. In his speech, Adams said that the fake cigarettes affects more than most other products. Forgery “destroys the value of the brand and product integrity,” he said.

Adams then concluded that the risible BAT is an ethical company, while the counterfeiters do not have enough conscience. “Even in my own industry, where our product has its known health risks of counterfeit versions are made with all sorts of untested and sometimes completely illegal additives and without our strict quality control, clearly put added risk to consumers,” he said.

BAT is part of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), who was closely involved in the process of negotiating ACTA. In 2008, the ICC Jeffrey Hardy sent a memo to the EU, the U.S. and other countries in drawing up the contract. ACTA was necessary, he says, because “theft of intellectual property is not less a crime than physical property theft.”

Hardy has been busy lately complex steps Australia - the other ACTA signatories - to require that all cigarettes be sold in plain packaging. It is instructive that in the statement of Hardy in April last year, almost identical to the case put forward by Paul Adams, seven years ago. “Plain packaging makes it easy to pack, to be copied forgers, discovering consumer products with unknown and potentially dangerous ingredients, and it makes it more difficult for consumers to identify the manufacturer responsible for responding to complaints and problems,” said Hardy.

From his office in Paris, Hardy was trying to prevent the introduction of similar measures in Europe. For example, he called on John Dalli, the commissioner of health the EU, rather than offer a simple package in a planned revision of the tobacco legislation of the Union (Dalli promised to publish a new anti-smoking advice by the end of this year).

So what’s going on here? From the available evidence suggests that Big Tobacco spends multi-pronged attack to save his ill-gotten gains. One of the most hazardous industries in human history, not just pretending to be concerned about health care, he pretends to be a defender of intellectual property rights, which are nominally designed to stimulate creativity and innovation.

The introduction of plain packaging would be a reasonable way to try to make smoking less attractive to young people. Some brands of printing them puffing on Gitanes helps to cultivate an atmosphere of carefree Gallic, Marlboro brand of cigaretteshas long been associated with the freedom of the Wild West. But if all cigarette packets look the same and logos were banned, the manufacturers of tobacco products will be deprived of what marketing strategists call “unique selling points.”

Whether legal or contraband, tobacco is a toxic substance. In his new book, The Golden Holocaust, Robert Proctor, which supports the production and sale of cigarettes should be outlawed, I am inclined to agree. However, if the tobacco to be sold, it’s better than cigarettes are regulated and subject to high taxes than promote crime (in my opinion, however, “lawful” The tobacco industry is also a criminal, there is no other word that accurately describes his attempts to suppress information on how smoking causes cancer).

But the fact remains that the police and customs officers already have broad authority - if not the resources - to combat cigarette smuggling. There is no compelling reason for the introduction of the new agreement as an ACTA to deal with this scourge. And the fact that the tobacco industry seeks to prevent easy packing initiative should raise suspicions about his agenda and his attempts to resurfacing itself as socially responsible.

(WHO), World Health Organization’s Convention on Tobacco Control, requires state agencies to ignore the economic interests of cigarette manufacturers in determining policy. Members of the European Parliament, therefore, must ask the tough questions about the role Big Tobacco plays in ACTA. If - as seems the case - cigarette industry uses misleading arguments to defend their interests, the MEPs have to break the agreement.

There are many other reasons, of course, why ACTA should be rejected. It was a secret, it could have far-reaching consequences for the free flow of ideas by banning many types of file sharing on the Internet, and this could enable large pharmaceutical companies require that the transportation of essential medicines in the world’s poor have limited or even stopped.

Concerned citizens are obliged to seek the motives of supporters of ACTA. Johnson & Johnson was the WHO’s efforts to obstacles, three new drugs, for which it has patents that people with AIDS. The participation of companies in the space-ACTA coalition should not be considered separately from the despicable position on this issue.

More than nine million people with HIV in Africa, Asia and Latin America do not have access to medicines they need. By 2030, eight million will die from tobacco use worldwide, if current trends continue. Hollywood, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco have joined forces to sell ACTA. Why should someone buy something from this toxic alliance?


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