Experts and policy makers have actively raised awareness about how smokers and vapers should quit outright as a precautionary/ preventive measure during the pandemic. Some governments have temporarily banned or restricted sales of tobacco, vaping products, and waterpipes, or categorized these as non-essential products; and this effectively, in a pragmatic way, rolls practically all the global tobacco treaty’s demand-reduction-measures into one. The public health community urges smokers to quit to prevent exacerbating COVID risks but the tobacco and vaping industry, aggressively promotes and even incentivizes stocking up on its products; lobbies against any restrictions to the extent of reportedly endangering the lives its own workers.

      Date

Title

Status

Type

Bangladesh  

         May 5, 2020

Should tobacco products be banned during the coronavirus crisis?

20 anti-tobacco organizations  demanded a temporary ban on the production, distribution, and sales of tobacco during the Covid-19 crisis

tobacco products

         April 08, 2020

Ban cigarette sale during pandemic

 

20 anti-tobacco organizations demand ban on tobacco goods manufacturing, sale

Lobbied for temporary ban on tobacco manufacturing and sale

tobacco products

            Botswana

         April 09, 2020

‘No Alcohol For 6 Months’ – Botswana Sets Out Tough Regulations For Lockdown

Banned sales for 6 months

cigarettes

         April 06, 2020

Botswana: ATN Advocates For Tobacco Ban

Lobbied to stop sales of tobacco products

tobacco products

            Canada

         March 30, 2020

Two COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Kahnawake, tobacco sales halted

Prohibited tobacco sales until further notice

tobacco products

            India

         May 22, 2020

Voluntary groups in Rajasthan seek complete ban on tobacco products

demand for a complete ban on sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and tobacco products

tobacco products

         April 15, 2020

Lockdown 2.0: Govt bans sale of booze and tobacco

Banned sales

tobacco and gutka (chew tobacco)

         March 25, 2020

Yogi govt mulls ban on paan masala, gutkha

Yogi Adityanath government is mulling a ban

paan masala and gutkha (chew tobacco)

            Kuwait

         May 3, 2020

Officially … the municipality prohibits “hookah” in cafes until further notice … in implementation of the “health” decision

prevent the use of “hookah” in cafes

Waterpipe (Hookah)

            Mexico

         April 24, 2020

Congress prohibits use and sale of electronic cigarettes in Coahuila

Prohibited use and sale of e-cigarettes

electronic cigarettes

            Philippines

         April 27, 2020

Ban on sin products to stay despite negative tax impact: DOF

Against lifting the ban on alcoholic and tobacco products during the enhanced community quarantine

tobacco products

         April 21, 2020

Cigarette smuggling up despite lockdown

Restrictions on the movement of cigarettes under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) might be lifted 

cigarette products

         March 29, 2020

Quezon town temporarily bans cigarettes amid COVID-19 threat

Temporary ban

cigarettes

          Russia

         April 03, 2020

Russian smokers facing COLD TURKEY withdrawal as tobacco deemed non-essential item in Covid-19 crisis

Designation of tobacco as a non-essential product; shortage of supply

tobacco products

            Saudi Arabia

         March 01, 2020

Coronavirus: Lead tobacco is banned in cafes and restaurants

Banned in cafes and restaurants

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

            South Africa

         May 9, 2020

‘Value’ cigarette brands are widely sold despite the tobacco ban – and they’re awful

cigarettes being sold during lockdown, regardless of brand, are considered ‘illegal’

cigarette products

         April 29, 2020

Lockdown | Cigarettes, liquor still won’t be for sale on Level 4

Cigarettes will still not be allowed to be sold at level four of lockdown

cigarette products

         April 27, 2020

Why the cigarette ban during lockdown? Five medical experts weigh in

Continued ban on cigarette sales during lockdown

cigarette products

         March 26, 2020

Why you can’t have cigarettes and alcohol during lockdown

Tobacco deemed “non-essential” during the 21-day lockdown period

cigarettes

         March 26, 2020

Coronavirus in SA: Sale of cigarettes prohibited during 21-day lockdown

Prohibited tobacco sale

cigarettes

            Syria

         March 13, 2020

Syria bans shisha, closes schools over virus fears

Banned in cafes and restaurants

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

            United Arab Emirates

         March 12, 2020

Coronavirus: Dubai bans shisha pipes with immediate effect

Banned in cafes

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

         March 12, 2020

Shisha banned in the UAE over coronavirus fears

Banned in cafes restaurants, and hotels

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

         March 11, 2020

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi hotels banned from serving shisha

Banned in hotels

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

            USA

         March 31, 20202

Office of the Governor | State of Wisconsin: Safer at Home FAQs

Vape, smoking, and cigar shops listed as non-essential business and must close (and cannot provide delivery)

vape, cigarette, and cigar

         March 27, 2020

Docs Group Asks For Smoking, Vaping Ban

New York State Academy of Family Physicians lobbied to ban the sale of all tobacco and vaping products

tobacco and vape products

         March 26, 2020

Vape Advocate Calls for Temporary Ban of Cigarette Sales

Demand Vape lobbied to temporary ban the sale of cigarette

cigarettes

 

Industry Link/ Opposed the bans/regulations

 

Date

Title

Status

Type

Organization/
Spokesperson

          Australia

         April 09, 2020

Expenditure on COVID-19 highlights the government’s disregard for smokers

Government not supporting vaping 

vape products

Australian Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA)

          Bangladesh

         May 20, 2020

Industries Ministry rejects tobacco ban proposal

The Ministry of Industries has turned down a call from the Health and Family Welfare Ministry seeking a ban of tobacco products in the country

tobacco products

British American Tobacco (BAT)

          Canada

         March 21, 2020

CVA Calls on Canadian Governments to Follow Italy’s Example and Ensure Adult Access Vape Shops Are Considered an Essential Service

Lobbied to open vape shops and consider as essential service 

vape products

Canadian Vaping Association

 European Union

         March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Some EU Countries Allow Vape Shops to Remain Open

Opened vape shops

vape products

UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA)

          Italy

         March 17, 2020

A Scientist Persuaded Italy to Exempt Vape Shops from COVID-19 Lockdown

Lobbied to open vape shops during lockdown  

vape products

Dr. Riccardo Polosa

          Jordan

         March 25, 2020

A cigarette in the time of Corona, “Saud” calls for the release of the compliant “clemency of smokers” and Batinah statement raises an uproar within the government

Demand for “clemency of smokers” 

cigarettes

Yahya Al-Saud

          New Zealand

         April 01, 2020

New Zealand Initiative Criticises Government For Rushing New Vaping Legislation During Lockdown

Protest on Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendments Bill  

vape products and snus

 Dr Eric Crampton

          South Africa

       May 7, 2020

Japan Tobacco International urges SA government to reconsider tobacco ban during lockdown level 4

Demand to reconsider tobacco ban during lockdown level 4

cigarette products

Japan Tobacco International

         May 6, 2020

BAT drops plan to sue over cigarette-sales ban

“British American Tobacco Plc will begin negotiations with the South African government instead of taking legal action”

cigarette products

British American Tobacco Plc

         May 2, 2020

Tobacco big guns on fire over cigarette ban

Tobacco industry have threatened legal action after the government’s  Level 4 national lockdown  

cigarette products

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) and The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

         April 25, 2020

Tobacco industry welcomes end to cigarette sales ban

Lift ban on the sale of cigarettes that will come into effect on May 1

cigarette products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita)

         April 21, 2020

Tobacco group wants state to explain cigarette ban, or face the courts

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) said ban was based on ministerial comments and not on regulations  

cigarette products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

         April 18, 2020

Covid-19: Tobacco association plans to challenge cigarette ban

FITA approached the courts for relief on the cigarette ban  

cigarette products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

         April 03, 2020

Alan Winde: We’re not defying government on cigarettes … the rules are ‘vague’

Lobbied on cigarettes not included in the list of basic goods  

cigarettes

Alan Winde

          USA

         March 23, 2020

States must scrap online e-cigarette bans during coronavirus pandemic

Calling to remove online e-cigarette bans  

electronic cigarettes

Guy Bentley 

Do you have information on tobacco industry’s tactics during COVID-19? Let us know. Send us any information at ggtc@ggtc.world or submit here.