The Value of a Human Rights-Based Approach to Tobacco Control
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University of Groningen, Faculty of Law, Department of Transboundary Legal Studies, Global Health Law Groningen Research Centre, Netherlands
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A66
As also evidenced in the presentations in this Panel, there is ample evidence of the harmful effects of smoking and exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in all phases of life and at all stages of the tobacco value chain. The harmful effects of production, sale and exposure to tobacco are not only a public health concern but also a matter of social justice in the way tobacco negatively impacts on the lives and wellbeing of individuals - smokers and non-smokers alike. This presentation will address the potential of a human rights-based approach to tobacco control. Human rights law offers an authoritative moral and legal framework to address injustices in relation to all aspects of tobacco, and is aimed at protecting the vulnerability of the individual. Specific attention will be paid to the rights and interests of children as vulnerable subjects when it comes to tobacco use and exposure. In addition, the presentation will encompass a discussion of the possibilities for creating accountability for human rights violations in relation to tobacco. It will pay attention to the tools and mechanisms that the human rights framework offers for addressing human rights violations by governments as well as the tobacco industry. Where possible, in this presentation links will be established between the scientific evidence presented in the other presentations in this panel and the potential of a human rights based approach. In relation to this and where possible, the presenter will be able to reflect on the opportunities that law more generally offers in curbing tobacco use.

Funding statement The research underlying this paper was carried out as part of a three-year research project into children’s rights and tobacco control funded by the Dutch Cancer Society. The funding body did not play any role in drafting the study design, the data collection and analysis, nor in the writing or reviewing of this manuscript. The author reports no conflict of interest.
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