American Cancer Society  |  January 14, 2014

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Governments continue to confront complexities at the intersection of public health and economic policymaking as they seek to develop and improve tobacco control policies. This report seeks to evaluate these dynamics, including risks, opportunities, and threats, utilizing recent developments at this major policy intersection in the Philippines. The themes that emerge in the Philippine case resonate with experiences in many other countries, making it an ideal case study. The report begins with an examination of the potential implications of emerging international trade and investment agreements. We then investigate the political economy of foreign direct investment and its impacts on tobacco control in the Philippines. Next, through the len of the intersection of tobacco control and trade/investment policies, we evaluate the challenges of intra-governmental cooperation and coordination. Finally, we focus on a major related development, the country’s recent restructuring of tobacco excise taxation, which many believe is developing into a Philippine public health success story. We investigate these key lines of inquiry through a thorough survey of official documents, existing literature, and interviews with 37 key informants from every relevant sector.

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