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About This Project

Tobacco Control Laws is an interactive website designed for advocates, researchers, legal professionals, and other members of the public interested in tobacco control to access information about tobacco control legislation and litigation worldwide. Due to the highly structured nature of this web site, some collective generic terms have to be used. The word “country” is used as a generic term throughout this Web site and is not intended to indicate political or sovereign status of any kind. “Country” refers to both sovereign states and to a variety of other political entities. These terms are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, country or area.


Legislation

Tobacco Control Laws - Legislation is a project of the International Legal Consortium of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C. The website allows users to search and download tobacco control laws from around the world. The website also provides legislative reviews and policy fact sheets to assess how tobacco control measures from a growing list of countries compare to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and its associated Guidelines in the areas of:

  • Smoke Free Places (FCTC Article 8);
  • Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (FCTC Article 13); and
  • Tobacco Packaging and Labeling (FCTC Article 11).

Legislative Reviews


Legislative reviews are the work of the legal advisors at the International Legal Consortium in collaboration with in-country lawyers, wherever possible. The insight, skill, and knowledge of in-country lawyers greatly increase the likelihood of accurate legal interpretation.

  • In order to ensure a high degree of consistency and accuracy in analyses across countries, reviewers are provided with review templates and interpretation protocols. These are structured to take into account the legal provisions of the FCTC and the FCTC Guidelines to Articles 8, 11, and 13, as well as in-country legal systems.
  • View the legislative review templates to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the legal measures were analyzed.
  • Reviewers consult all applicable national tobacco control enactments including legislation, regulations, decrees, resolutions, and any other enactments that have legal force and effect. In addition to tobacco control laws, these may include consumer laws, public health laws, criminal laws, transportation laws, and others.
  • Reviewers use the legislative review templates and the interpretation protocols to make determinations about the degree to which the legislation complies with the FCTC and aligns with its Guidelines.
  • Virtually every determination of a legal measure’s regulatory status is accompanied by a legal analysis explaining the reasoning and interpretation used to arrive at the particular regulatory status code that was assigned. The analysis clearly states whether the law meets or aligns with the FCTC and its Guidelines.
  • Questions of legal interpretation are resolved collaboratively by in-country lawyers and the ILC’s legal advisors. Because the ILC is housed within a non-governmental organization, legislative reviews and legislative policy fact sheets are developed independently from governments. Although we have posed questions to government officials if a policy is unclear, we have not submitted our data to each country’s government for their review and/or approval.
  • The completed review templates are then uploaded to the database.

Limitations

  • While every attempt is made to review all applicable laws and to partner with in-country lawyers, this is not always possible. Therefore, the legislative reviews may be incomplete and/or contain uncertain findings. In addition, legal provisions are often susceptible to more than one interpretation, giving rise to the possibility of interpretation error, especially where we do not have in-country lawyer assistance. If you have suggestions for updates to add, please send them to lawsdatabase@tobaccofreekids.org
  • Tobacco Control Laws - Legislation does not currently contain sub-national legislation, which may vary from the national legal enactments that are analyzed here.
  • Tobacco Control Laws - Legislation contains legislative reviews and legislative policy fact sheets based mostly on the letter of the law. In practice implementation of tobacco control legislation is not comprehensively considered, but is incorporated at times to enhance the accuracy of reviews, where such information is readily available.
  • Updates to Tobacco Control Laws - Legislation are not made in real-time. Therefore, information contained on the Web site may sometimes be outdated. A Last Updated date is located at the bottom of each Country Detail page.
  • The reviews for the Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship policy area focus on whether a legislative measure does or does not align with the comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship as contemplated by FCTC Article 13 and its Guidelines. A country may not be in a position to undertake a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship due to its constitution or constitutional principles. In general, an analysis of constitutional issues is beyond the scope of the reviews.

Litigation

Tobacco Control Laws – Litigation is a project of the International Legal Consortium of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

The website allows users to access an extensive and fully searchable database of tobacco control litigation decisions from courts around the world. The database contains decision texts, decision summaries, and legal concepts at issue in the litigation. Users access court decisions by performing word searches or by browsing countries or litigation subject areas.

The website aims to capture a growing number of court decisions in any country involving health policies related to tobacco and tobacco products. The website excludes personal injury cases – except for those involving secondhand smoke exposure, tobacco packaging or advertising using misleading descriptors such as “light” or “low” tar, or decisions citing to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Litigation reviews are the work of lawyers and law students working under the supervision of legal staff at the International Legal Consortium and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

Reviews

  • Reviewers consult several sources for case decisions including in-country lawyers, news and journal articles, tobacco industry public filings, and internal tobacco industry documents made public from U.S. litigation settlements, among others.
  • Reviewers draft concise decision summaries and code the decisions to identify the type of litigation and the tobacco control topics and legal concepts at issue in the matters.
  • Reviewers utilize review templates with concept descriptions to ensure consistent coding of case decisions.

Limitations

  • Tobacco Control Laws - Litigation is not an exhaustive source for all tobacco-related litigation. The International Legal Consortium constantly is learning about new decisions and adding them to the queue of matters to be reviewed and uploaded to the database. If you have suggestions for cases or updates to add, please send them to lawsdatabase@tobaccofreekids.org
  • While we have attempted to find all substantive decisions in a matter, we cannot guarantee that the database contains the complete record of a case. For example, we cannot guarantee that an appellate court has not reversed a lower court decision located in the database.
  • While we have attempted to ensure the accuracy of case summaries and identification of legal concepts at issue in a case, the summaries and coding may contain inaccuracies. Accordingly, the case summaries and coding should not be a substitute for reading the text of a decision.
  • We have attempted to include cases in languages other than English. In some instances, we have provided an unofficial English translation of the decision. In other instances, we provide only the original language text and an English language summary.
The materials and analysis available at this website are for informational and educational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.