Return to Sender: Rejecting PMI Ukraine’s Charity During COVID-19 (2020)

Although sponsorship activities by tobacco companies are banned in Ukraine, Philip Morris International (PM) found a way to donate funds to the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, PMI Ukraine donated 10 million UAH (372,577 USD) to the Charity Fund Health for All to help fight the pandemic according to a report by American […]

The Role of the WHO FCTC in COVID-19 Responses (2020)

Executive Summary Tobacco use carries risk of COVID-19 transmission and leads to worse health outcomes for COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 also endangers those with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) for which smoking is a major risk factor. Life-saving tobacco control measures that urge smokers to quit would not only address the tobacco epidemic, but also reduce the burden […]

Tobacco Industry: Manipulating the Youth into a Lifelong Addiction (2020)

The tobacco industry causes a net loss to the global economy, annually costing USD 1.4 trillion in economic losses[1] and killing 8 million people; with a disproportionate impact in developing nations as over 80% of the 1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).[2] Investment analysts estimate that the industry creates at least […]

An Open Letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations (2020)

April 30, 2020 Secretary General António Guterres UNITED NATIONS New York, NY 10027 Dear Secretary General Guterres: The tobacco control community stands with you in your commitment to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 towards “a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable economy, guided by our shared promise —the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” We applaud your […]

COVID-19 and Tobacco Industry Interference (2020)

  I. Background On February 14, 2020, the head of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme posited that smoking is a risk factor for the severity of any lower respiratory tract infection, and that the same would be expected in COVID-19, a respiratory disease.[1] To identify smokers as a potential vulnerable group for COVID-19, health experts […]

Tobacco Industry: Decade of Deception and Duplicity (2019)

Tobacco companies “have marketed and sold their lethal product with zeal, with deception, with a single-minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted” – Judge Gladys Kessler, United States District Court, 2006 Read more: WHO Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean and WHO FCTC Secretariat’s […]

Selling Addiction: Tobacco Industry Transition to New Products (2019)

To dominate the market for e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products, the tobacco industry is re-using tactics that successfully targeted youth and misinformed the public about product safety in the past. While the industry aggressively promotes its new products under the guise of offering solutions, some of the hard-fought, life-saving tobacco control measures currently in place […]

Indicators of Tobacco Industry Interference (2019)

The tobacco industry repeats the same tactics in multiple jurisdictions to interfere with tobacco control. Indicators of the extent of tobacco industry interference include: proindustry elements in tobacco control policy; government behaviour toward the tobacco industry; and actions of government officials in international meetings. Read more: WHO Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean and WHO FCTC […]

Tobacco Industry Tactics: Smoke-free Environment (2019)

The tobacco industry uses “accommodation policies”, such as designated smoking areas, to promote the “social acceptability” of smoking and encourage smoking or smoking initiation. Transnational tobacco companies mobilize the hospitality industry, downplay the dangers of tobacco smoke and provide donations, political contributions and funds for so-called corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities that can influence policy-makers […]

Tobacco Industry Tactics: Advertising Promotion and Sponsorship (2019)

The tobacco industry’s key strategy to challenge anti-tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) policy is arguing against comprehensive bans. This aims to ensure sufficient loopholes to allow continued marketing of tobacco products through points of sale, targeted promotions and sponsorship. The tobacco industry uses corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to access policy-makers, and utilizes its […]