Commodities Harmful to Health

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Public Health Policy Research book series (PSPHPR)


This chapter discusses the implications of trade agreements for tobacco, alcohol and ultra-processed foods. For each of these unhealthy commodities, the impact of reducing tariffs and other non-tariff barriers is explored, along with the ways in which trade agreements can reduce the policy space available to governments to address rising rates of non-communicable diseases. Special attention is given to evidence of the impact of tariff reductions on the availability and price of tobacco, alcohol and ultra-processed foods; trade challenges over public health interventions to regulate product marketing and packaging; and the implications of investor-state dispute settlement and the way in which it has been used by the tobacco industry to challenge tobacco control measures. The concept of ‘regulatory chill’ is also discussed.


Unhealthy commodities Tariff and non-tariff barriers Trade and investment liberalisation ISDS Regulatory chill 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and Public HealthLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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