Using the judicial system to fight tobacco: Perspectives from the Global South
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Corporate Accountability, Boston, United States
O’ Neill Institute-Georgetown University, Washington, United States
O’Neill Institute-Georgetown University, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids, Cordoba, Argentina
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Daniel Dorado
Corporate Accountability, Boston, United States
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A72
Recent litigation cases such as the Brazilian lawsuit against the largest tobacco corporations seeking the recovery of healthcare costs related to the treatment of tobacco-related diseases1 demonstrate that the use of the judicial system, particularly liability, keeps gaining ground in order to: shift public views in favor of tobacco control, denormalize tobacco use, promote corrective actions/remedies and deter future misconduct. Such lawsuits are a fulfillment of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s (FCTC) Article 19—to hold the tobacco industry legally and finally accountable for its harms. This abstract addresses the use of the judicial system to fight tobacco that has been carried out in the Global South, by showing a concrete case study and tools that could be used to create change.

Material and Methods:
From a literature and practitioner review, co-authors will share one example of Tobacco litigation in the Global South: the Brazil Case. The presentation will focus on transnational liability, the concept of diffuse damages in a public health system, and the use of the lawsuit to expose industry documents.

The use of the judicial system (including Article 19 FCTC) gives a framework to make the tobacco industry pay, promoting accountability and deterrence. It can also be a tool for the implementation of other FCTC provisions, like Article 5.3.

The tobacco epidemic is wholly driven by an industry with more money and resources than many countries in which it operates. Governments and individuals currently bear the costs of the epidemic. It is time for that to change and to shift the cost of burden back onto the tobacco industry, forcing them to respect the rule of law and pay for the harms it causes in countries across the globe. Liability is a major tool for such a goal.

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.
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