African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 403

Full Length Research Paper

Struggling to weaken the giant: Litigation as a measure to compel the adoption of tobacco control instrument in Malawi

Brenya Edward
West Virginia University, 1215 Pineview Drive, # 7, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26505, United States.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 August 2012
  •  Published: 30 November 2012


The tobacco companies continue to resist the adoption of tobacco control laws in developing countries in spite of the predicted high risk of a tobacco epidemic in those areas. In contrast to previous studies which focused on the developed and middle income countries and concluded that interest groups impact policy making, this study examines the strategy of anti-tobacco interest groups to promote the regulation of tobacco smoke in Malawi using data collected through interviews of experts and review of existing materials on tobacco control. The study finds that the anti-tobacco groups are resorting to litigation to compel their government to enforce environmental provisions stipulated in the Constitution and other legal documents as means of regulating tobacco smoke. Finally, it concludes that litigation for the implementation of legal provisions to protect public health might be the strategy used by interest groups to regulate substances detrimental to public health in developing countries.


Key words: Tobacco smoke, Malawi, constitutional provisions, interest groups, policy adoption, litigation, tobacco control.