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IASLC urges U.S. to remove tobacco products from trade agreements

DENVER - The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) sent a letter to President Barack Obama Sept. 18, 2013 urging the U.S. to remove tobacco control measures and tobacco products from existing and future trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  

Historically, trade provision that have reduced or eliminated tariffs have lowered cigarette prices and dramatically increased smoking rates, especially by the young and low-income populations. The IASLC calls on the U.S. to support a trade proposal in the TPP that will safeguard public health, advance tobacco control measures that contribute to reducing the enormous burden of disease related to tobacco use. 

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide, causing 6.3 million deaths a year. In addition, cigarette smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually and a major contributor to the global pandemic of tobacco-related diseases. 

"Trade agreements that allow multinational corporations (such as big tobacco) to block health and environmental laws need to be opposed in the same way as laws designed to improve worker protection and wages," IASLC President Peter Goldstraw says. "Free trade and globalization should not be done blindly. Expanding markets and protections for multinational corporations needs to be balanced against the consequences to the citizens at large." 

Read the full letter from the IASLC. 

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About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes more than 3,800 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries. To learn more about IASLC please visit www.iaslc.org

September 18, 2013