ITGA’s CEO on 2017 global perspective
The election of Donald Trump to the
Presidency of the most powerful country in the world would always
be an event of world dimension. Given the personality of Mr. Trump,
it has become a much bigger event with decisive, even if
Some of those consequences are more
unpredictable than others. Among the known unknowns, as the other
Donald, Rumsfeld, would say, one must include the policy towards
Not counting on the Vice
President's position, the new President' views on excessive
regulation are sufficient to allow for some predictions on what may
The main one is about the FDA's
The Federal Drug Administration,
under President Obama, was given the power to regulate all things
related with tobacco.
It is doubtful that much of the
regulation may be sent back, even if it might be sensible to allow
for a little more freedom of choice among smokers and a little more
respect for their minority rights.
What is quite probable is that some
of the FDA powers may be reduced.
For tobacco growers, the most
important decision is the regulation of Heat-not burn tobacco
products, the only new generation products which have tobacco
It is not foreseeable a political
environment in which smokers might regain any of their lost freedom
to use traditional cigarettes.
Three of the main four
manufacturers of tobacco products have already one or more products
in that category and their future will affect tobacco growers in a
The anti-tobacco industry demonised
the e-cigarettes first and the Heat-not burn devices after, for the
simple reason that they are not their products and they might
strengthen the tobacco industry.
Going back to the unknowns, nobody
is completely sure about the health impact of vapors or heat not
But everybody, with the exception
of a few shameless employees of the anti-tobacco industry, knows
that these products are much less harmful than traditional
Regulation should and must
recognize this fact.
If the FDA under Mr. Trump, decides
to accept this sensible view it may be a game changer for
regulators around the world, as regulation will be more based on
scientific evidence and less on the life style needs of the
employees of the anti- tobacco industry and the interests of the
A more obscure unknown is the
impact of Mr. Trump on the future of the World Health Organization.
One of the great scandals of the United Nations system is the way
in which a part of that United Nations Agency, the Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has used hundreds of millions
of taxes payer's dollars, without any democratic control, for the
sake of a small group of NGO's, their members and their corporate
friends. It is expectable and desirable that the Trump Presidency
requests a more detailed account about where that money went and