The cigarette commodity chain and national tobacco control in China and Brazil




O'Leary, Karin

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The Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) designates the nation-state as the agent for tobacco control, and it defines its target as an industry composed of manufacturers, wholesalers, and importers. This target fails to include the farmers, tobacco leaf exporters, and retailers profiting from cigarette consumption. Commodity chain analysis uncovers a more comprehensive roster of industry actors, a methodology that can improve tobacco control monitoring efforts, and uncover weaknesses in the industry. A comparative historical analysis of the cigarette commodity chain in Brazil and China exposes four categories of social forces that counter national tobacco control: the actors in the industry, local governments and trade treaty organizations as external actors, the conflicting activities of different units within the nation-state itself, and social norms embedded with 400 years of tobacco use. In conclusion, the author suggests that the FCTC provisions be redirected to local and international levels.



cigarettes, government policy