Raniel Miranda Reflection Paper Tobacco
Reflection Paper on Tobacco for Contemporary Developments in International Law...
Raniel Miranda | 12-007 Contemporary Developments in International Law | Atty. Sembrano | Atty. Perillo Reflection Paper: Tobacco All individuals possess the right to health. Meier and Mori however argue that this individual right should be elevated to a collective right in order to afford better protection to health rights. This is due to globalization and technology, which has transformed health and disease, in a way that control over an individual’s personal health has been diminished. It is further argued that the right to individual medical care is losing traction nowadays because societal factors facilitate the spread of illnesses. It is in this light that it is suggested that the collective right to health should be promoted and strengthened, instead of merely focusing on individual health. This does not mean however that the individual right to health should be overlooked. Rather, the society-based collective right to public health is meant to complement the aforementioned individual right. In essence, the theory is to recognize, uphold, and protect the collective right to public health because globalization has led to diseases that produce society-wide effects. The implied assumption here is that if the collective right to health is recognized, the individual right is consequently protected. It is debatable whether the right to public health can be expanded to cover the health of individuals from different regions. Nonetheless, Townsend et al defines global health as referring to programs and initiatives that address the “health needs of people across many countries rather than the concerns of particular nations”. It involves the interaction of several actors from both the private and public sector but the recent trend is the increase in the number of private actors. Townsend et al mention that low and middle income countries have experienced difficulty in the implementation of the Doha Declaration and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Because of this, they argue that a human rights and public goods approach, along with the cooperation of an independent World Health Organization, and the participation and increased resources of the low and middle income countries is necessary to adequately attend to the social determinants of health. Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death. It is also scientifically and medically accepted that smoking causes detrimental effects on the smoker’s body and the non-smokers that inhale the so-called “second hand smoke”. This is the reason behind attempts to suppress it through public awareness campaigns, advertisements, medical announcements, policies, restrictions, enactments, and other means. The movement against smoking is however opposed by some who claim that individuals have the right to smoke. Graff responds to this by contending that the right to smoke is not among the civil rights mentioned in the Constitution. It is neither created by the due process clause nor the equal protection clause. It is also not a specially protected liberty or privacy right. Given this, it can be said that government bodies have the wherewithal to establish restrictions and formulate enactments, which deal with the act of smoking. This is especially true in light of police power which allows states to regulate behavior and enforce order in order to safeguard health, safety, morals, and general welfare. In light of the harmful effects of smoking, Vadi argues that tobacco control is an important aspect of contemporary public health governance. She mentions however that international trade law has posed an impediment due to the reduction of tariff and nontariff trade barriers and lowering of prices of tobacco products. Generally speaking, conflict of interests will inevitably ensue if a “State adopts tobacco control measures that interfere with foreign investments because such regulation may be considered a violation
Raniel Miranda | 12-007 Contemporary Developments in International Law | Atty. Sembrano | Atty. Perillo of investment treaty provisions protecting the trademarks of tobacco companies”. This is particularly problematic given the incompatibility of promotion of public health and advancement of the economic interests of the tobacco industry.