Chapter 9: Tobacco control in ASEAN
Almost 30 per cent of the adult population of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) smokes. All but one of the ASEAN members are currently parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The outlier is Indonesia, the most populous of the ten ASEAN countries. Multilaterally, all ten ASEAN members are World Trade Organization (WTO) members and subject to its trade rules. Regionally, ASEAN is in the process of accelerated economic integration, with the aim of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. A Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) system, set up under the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) arrangement, has existed since 1992, propelling members towards trade liberalisation and elimination of tariffs. At the same time, ASEAN has been negotiating trade and investment treaties with external partners, which have separate liberalisation targets and implications. In tandem, the overarching ASEAN Strategic Framework on Health and Development (2010–15) was established under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint, to introduce and implement health-related initiatives in ASEAN. One area of focus of this framework is healthy lifestyles. In 2010, under these auspices, ASEAN health ministers committed to addressing tobacco control as a priority to promote healthy living. As a result, legislative and non-legislative initiatives have been introduced. In July 2012, ASEAN health ministers announced that tobacco would not be included in tariff liberalisation of the AFTA.
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