E Legresley

The Bank of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (5)12.79 Total impact

  • Ross Mackenzie · Kelley Lee · Eric Legresley
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    ABSTRACT: The opening of the Thai tobacco market, following action brought by the US Trade Representative under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, is seen as a key case study of the tensions between trade and health policy. Interpretations of the dispute cast it, either as an example of how trade agreements undermine national policy-making, or how governments can adopt effective public health protections compliant with international trade rules. As a UK-based company, British American Tobacco has been regarded as peripheral to this dispute. This paper argues that its close monitoring of the illegal trade during this period, the role of smuggling in the company's global business strategy, and its management of the relative supply and pricing of legal and illegal products after market opening provide a fuller understanding of the interests and roles of transnational tobacco companies and the government in this dispute. The findings have important policy implications, notably the role of effective governance in countries facing pressure to open their tobacco sectors, need to better understand corporate-level activities within an increasingly globalised tobacco industry, and need to address the intertwined legal and illegal trade in implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Global Public Health
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    E Legresley · K Lee · M E Muggli · P Patel · J Collin · R D Hurt
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    ABSTRACT: To provide an overview of the complicity of British American Tobacco (BAT) in the illicit trade of cigarettes across the African continent in terms of rationale, supply routes and scale. Analysis of internal BAT documents and industry publications. BAT has relied on illegal channels to supply markets across Africa since the 1980s. Available documents suggest smuggling has been an important component of BAT's market entry strategy in order to gain leverage in negotiating with governments for tax concessions, compete with other transnational tobacco companies, circumvent local import restrictions and unstable political and economic conditions and gain a market presence. BAT worked through distributors and local agents to exploit weak government capacity to gain substantial market share in major countries. Documents demonstrate that the complicity of BAT in cigarette smuggling extends to Africa, which includes many of the poorest countries in the world. This is in direct conflict with offers by the company to contribute to stronger international cooperation to tackle the illicit tobacco trade.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · Tobacco control
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    J Collin · E Legresley · R MacKenzie · S Lawrence · K Lee
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the complicity of British American Tobacco (BAT) in cigarette smuggling in Asia, and to assess the centrality of illicit trade to regional corporate strategy. Analysis of previously confidential documents from BAT's Guildford depository. An iterative strategy combined searches based on geography, organisational structure, and key personnel, while corporate euphemisms for contraband were identified by triangulation. BAT documents demonstrate the strategic importance of smuggling across global, regional, national, and local levels. Particularly important in Asia, contraband enabled access to closed markets, created pressure for market opening, and was highly profitable. Documents demonstrate BAT's detailed oversight of illicit trade, seeking to reconcile the conflicting demands of control and deniability. BAT documents demonstrate that smuggling has been driven by corporate objectives, indicate national measures by which the problem can be addressed, and highlight the importance of a coordinated global response via WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2005 · Tobacco control
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    Eric LeGresley · Eric Lindblom
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    ABSTRACT: Each year approximately 400 billion cigarettes, or one-third of all legally exported cigarettes, end up illegally smuggled across international borders. Cigarettes are the world’s most widely smuggled legal consumer product. Cigarette smuggling hurts the world’s nations by evading otherwise applicable duty fees and taxes. Even worse, it increases the number of smokers by providing a less-expensive supply of cigarettes, especially for the young and the poor. National efforts to restrict access to cigarettes by children can be undermined by the availability of cheap contraband cigarettes. In addition, cigarette smuggling that steals away public revenues leaves less funding available for public health efforts. At the same time, it reduces available revenues for health care and law enforcement. The major international cigarette companies say that the solution for the world’s governments is to reduce cigarette taxes and duty fees to reduce the incentives to smuggle. But an enormous, growing body of evidence shows that the major cigarette companies, themselves, have knowingly fostered and have consciously supported cigarette smuggling. In doing so, they have been able to penetrate otherwise closed markets, to increase the sales of their brands by making them available at lower prices, and to provide an argument against high or increased levels of cigarette taxes or import duties.
    Full-text · Technical Report · Jan 2003
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    E LeGresley · K Lee · M E Muggli

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