Tobacco giants fume over claims they exploited COVID-19 with Romania, Greece & Ukraine donations

Authors: Emil Filtenborg and Stefan Weichert Two tobacco titans have hit back at allegations they are using the COVID-19 health crisis to improve their public image and win access to politicians. Philip Morris International subsidiary, Papastratos, gave 50 respirators to Greek hospitals to help them cope during the pandemic. Read more: Euronews

Health Ministry for halting production, sale of tobacco products

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday urged the authorities concerned to suspend production, supply, marketing, and sale of all kinds of tobacco products in Bangladesh to help fight against coronavirus. See more: The Independent

NCTC, health groups urge Jokowi to ban smoking in COVID-19 ‘high-risk areas’

The National Commission on Tobacco Control (NCTC) has urged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to enhance COVID-19 mitigation efforts by banning tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, especially in “high-risk areas”. See more: The Jakarta Post

Covid-19 crisis sparks new call in Scotland for tobacco levy

Scotland’s leading anti-smoking charity is backing calls for a minimum unit price (MUP) on tobacco after scientists said “now is the time” to tackle the largest preventable cause of chronic disease. See more: The Sunday Times

From a potential vaccine to millionaire donations: The active role of tobacco companies in times of coronavirus

Philip Morris International committed more than US $ 24 million to support actions against the pandemic, financing NGOs. A British American Tobacco subsidiary, meanwhile, is in the clinical testing stage of a possible vaccine. See more: LATERCERA

South Africa: U.S.$1,500 ‘Bribe’ Offered As More Cigarettes Seized During COVID-19 Lockdown

Three people have been arrested in Lenasia, Johannesburg, in spite of allegedly offering a whopping R30 000 to get out of being caught selling cigarettes during the coronavirus lockdown. See more: allAfrica

Sampoerna factory closes after two COVID-19 deaths, authorities race to trace contacts

Tobacco giant HM Sampoerna’s factory in Rungkut district of Surabaya, East Java, has temporarily shut down following reports that two of its workers had died of COVID-19 and dozens of other workers had tested positive for the virus that causes the disease. See more: The Jakarta Post

The two faces of the tobacco industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, the world’s major tobacco companies have geared their CSR efforts to present themselves as allies of public health in the fight against the virus. For example, in Georgia on 23-26 March British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris International (PMI) donated […]

WHO statement: Tobacco use and COVID-19

Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. See more: World Health Organization