Allyn L. Taylor

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The public health implications of tobacco consumption, long recognized in industrialized states, are now apparent worldwide. In response to falling consumption rates in industrialized states, the tobacco industry has focused on penetrating the markets of less developed countries, where tobacco regulation is weak or nonexistent. Domestic tobacco regulation has proven critical in reducing tobacco consumption, yet the power of multinational tobacco companies and other international factors often prevent countries from adopting and implementing effective regulation. Collaborative, multilateral action could encourage and facilitate domestic regulation. Following the examples of international organizations in other areas of law, the World Health Organization should first advocate the adoption of a nonbinding international instrument to suggest tobacco regulation such as a U.N. General Assembly resolution, and then encourage the development of binding international agreements with provisions for implementation and supporting institutions.

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