Companies use bogus smuggling claims to fight tobacco control measures, then foster black markets themselves
Nov 17, 2014
For years, the major tobacco companies have fought cigarette tax increases and other tobacco control measures by claiming they will spark massive increases in cigarette smuggling and black markets. But stories in The Wall Street Journal (subscription only), The Guardian and other media reveal that British American Tobacco (BAT), the world’s second largest multinational tobacco company, has been supporting — and profiting from — the same cigarette smuggling schemes that tobacco companies claim are caused by policies to reduce tobacco use.
Continue reading Big Tobacco Fined for Fueling Black Market in U.K.
Huge tobacco ads placed in Sports Illustrated, ESPN magazine
Oct 28, 2014
For millions of fans of all ages, October means the excitement of the baseball playoffs and World Series.
For tobacco companies, it means another opportunity to target kids by associating smokeless tobacco with baseball and other sports.
This month’s issues of the two leading sports magazines, Sports Illustrated and ESPN, have included huge, two-page advertising spreads for Grizzly, which is by far the most popular smokeless tobacco brand among youth ages 12-17. Grizzly is made by American Snuff Company, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Reynolds American.
Continue reading As Young Fans Enjoy World Series, Magazine Ads Link Baseball and Smokeless Tobacco
Tobacco industry-funded organization asks government representatives to attend private meeting before WHO conference
Oct 8, 2014
A tobacco industry-funded organization is trying to gut life-saving efforts to raise tobacco taxes as countries prepare to discuss the issue at an upcoming World Health Organization conference on tobacco control, according to an article in the Financial Times (subscription required). The conference kicks off October 13 in Moscow.
The International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), a Washington, DC-based organization, has asked government representatives from around the world to attend a private meeting shortly before the conference in an effort to undercut progress on tobacco tax increases. According to the Financial Times, “all four of the major international tobacco companies, including British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International, are sponsors of the ITIC and have representatives on its board of directors.”
Continue reading Ahead of Global Meeting, Big Tobacco Seeks to Derail Progress on Life-Saving Tobacco Taxes
Report calls for strong measures to prevent and reduce tobacco use
Nov 20, 2013
A new report by the American Cancer Society warns that without urgent action to prevent tobacco use, Africa will be the "future epicenter of the tobacco epidemic" with soaring rates of tobacco use and related disease and death.
According to the report, rates of tobacco use are likely to increase as African nations continue to experience strong economic and massive population growth. The number of African smokers will skyrocket from 77 million today to 572 million by 2100 unless proven measures to reduce tobacco use are implemented and enforced throughout the continent.
Continue reading New Report: Africa at Risk of Becoming “Epicenter of Tobacco Epidemic”
Strong action needed to head off tobacco epidemic
Aug 22, 2013
As smoking declines in many developed nations, the tobacco industry is increasingly targeting low- and middle-income countries. The industry’s latest target: Myanmar.
As Myanmar emerges from decades of isolation and military rule and international sanctions are lifted, the Associated Press details how tobacco companies – including multinational giants British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco – are moving in as quickly as possible. And they’re trying to do it under the radar.
Continue reading Big Tobacco’s Latest Target: Myanmar
Learn about America’s most wanted tobacco villains
Mar 20, 2013
Today is the 18th Kick Butts Day, our annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco.
With more than 1,200 events happening across the country and on military bases around the world, this is the biggest Kick Butts Day yet. Today and throughout the week, thousands of kids are taking a stand against tobacco. Find Kick Butts Day events in your area.
Continue reading Today is Kick Butts Day!
Performers urged to reject tobacco sponsorships
Feb 27, 2013
The Java Jazz festival kicks off this Friday in Jakarta, Indonesia. It's one of the largest annual music festivals in the world, and concert promoters have spent the last few months promoting the stars who will perform. But they've promoted tobacco even more.
What are the biggest words on Java Jazz's official poster and billboards? It's not "Java Jazz." It's not the names of star performers. It's a brand of cigarettes made by Djarum, the tobacco company sponsoring the music festival.
Continue reading Oh Really? Tobacco-Sponsored Indonesia Jazz Festival Now Claims It’s Opposed to Youth Smoking
Measure enacted over strong tobacco industry opposition
Dec 21, 2012
Taking historic action to reduce smoking in the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino has signed a new law that will significantly increase cigarette taxes.
This new law will help reduce tobacco’s deadly toll in the Philippines, where 28 percent of the population smokes – including nearly half of all men – and more than 35,000 Filipinos die each year from tobacco-related disease. We applaud President Aquino and lawmakers who supported the law for taking such strong action to reduce tobacco use.
Continue reading Victory in the Philippines: President Signs Historic Cigarette Tax Increase
Protecting kids from the tobacco industry’s products and marketing
Sep 6, 2012
The backpacks have been aired out, the supplies purchased, pencils sharpened, and the kids are now back to school. With young people being away from home and parental supervision, however, moms and dads need to be vigilant.
Continue reading Back to School and Tobacco-Free
As U.S. appeals court weighs case, Canada forges ahead
Apr 10, 2012
As an appeals court in Washington heard arguments today on the tobacco industry's lawsuit to block graphic cigarette warnings in the United States, an editorial in The New York Times called the suit a "bogus challenge" that is all too typical of tobacco industry tactics.
"The tobacco industry has never been bashful about fighting back against attempts to regulate the promotion of its deadly, addictive products," the Times wrote. "The latest is an effort to derail new regulations requiring large health warnings on cigarette packages by making baseless First Amendment claims."
Continue reading Big Tobacco’s Challenge to New Cigarette Warnings Called “Bogus”
China’s state-run tobacco company profits may outpace Wal-Mart, HSBC
Mar 27, 2012
The global tobacco industry has long put profits before public health. Now China National Tobacco Corporation has taken this cynical formula to a new level: It appears to be the world's 30th largest company by sales, with profits that may rival those of the giant retailer Wal-Mart and the international financial conglomerate HSBC.
Continue reading Big Profits for Bitter Harvest of Disease and Death
Initiative counters an industry called "ruthless and devious" by WHO chief
Mar 22, 2012
New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg has pledged an additional $220 million to the global fight against tobacco use, bringing his total commitment to more than $600 million.
Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore, where public health leaders from around the world are gathered to intensify their efforts against tobacco use, the world’s number one cause of preventable death.
Continue reading Michael Bloomberg Pledges Millions More for Global Fight Against Tobacco
Loophole keeps kids working in tobacco industry and out of school
Mar 20, 2012
Sagira Ansari suffers from coughs, colds, fever and persistent headaches. But her ailments do not shorten her workday or slow her as she drops flakes of tobacco into square-cut leaves, rolls them deftly and ties the ends of a bidi cigarette with twists of red thread.
"I can't play around," she laments in a story by the Associated Press.
At age 11, Sagira, is surrounded by dust as she works eight-hour shifts producing bidis, a popular form of tobacco smoked mostly by men in India — but made by women and children.
Continue reading Children Toil in Poverty to Produce India’s Bidi Cigarettes
Tobacco industry spends over a million dollars an hour on marketing that hooks kids
Mar 8, 2012
Smoking among American youth is a “pediatric epidemic” that isn’t occurring by accident: It’s directly caused by tobacco industry marketing and promotion that entices teenagers to start smoking and encourages their progression to becoming regular smokers.
Continue reading Surgeon General’s Report Shows Youth Smoking is “Not an Accident”
Big bucks will spread big lies about cigarette tax initiative
Mar 6, 2012
Big tobacco companies already have coughed up nearly $15 million to try to kill a California ballot initiative that would boost the state's cigarette tax by $1 to fund cancer research and tobacco-prevention programs.
"Shame on them," says Dr. Richard Gray, president of the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate. "But we aren’t surprised — they will always put their profits before the health of millions of Californians."
Continue reading Big Tobacco Bankrolls Fight Against California Measure to Reduce Smoking, Save Lives
Say latest legal challenge is another bid to push deadly product
Aug 29, 2011
Newspapers around the country have reached their own verdict on the latest tobacco companies' lawsuit challenging the new, graphic cigarette pack warning labels required under the 2009 law giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco.
The decision: Big Tobacco is guilty again.
Continue reading Newspapers Slam Big Tobacco for Warning Label Lawsuit
“Sex, Lies and Cigarettes” documentary airs on Tuesday night
Jun 24, 2011
Widening its lens beyond the image of Indonesia’s infamous “smoking baby,” Current TV plans to air an hour long documentary Tuesday night that exposes the tobacco industry’s deadly expansion into Indonesia, where it is addicting a new generation and helping to create a global epidemic of deaths caused by tobacco use.
Continue reading For Big Tobacco, Indonesia is the new Marlboro Country
American rock bands continue to help sell tobacco to kids in developing countries
Jun 7, 2011
The American rock bands Good Charlotte, 30 Seconds to Mars and Neon Trees are among a lineup of top musicians who are again acting as advertisers for Big Tobacco: They're scheduled to perform next month at Java Rockin' Land, Indonesia's largest and highest profile music event — sponsored by the cigarette company Gudang Garam.
Continue reading They’re at it Again
Argument that new FDA law should replace court’s order is “particularly unconvincing”
Jun 3, 2011
The tobacco industry spends billions marketing its products with determined deception, but it can’t dupe U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler.
Judge Kessler issued the landmark 2006 decision that the tobacco companies have violated civil racketeering laws (RICO) and defrauded the public by lying for decades about the health risks of smoking and their marketing to children.
Continue reading U.S. Judge Slaps Down Tobacco Industry Effort to Evade Sanctions in Racketeering Case
Tobacco linked to major non-communicable diseases that cause two out of three deaths
Apr 7, 2011
Tobacco use is a risk factor for all major categories of non-communicable diseases — heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes — and tobacco control must be the "top priority" if the world is to reduce the toll of diseases that now cause two out of every three deaths worldwide, according to a global alliance of scientists and non-governmental organizations.
Continue reading United Nations to Tackle Global Threat from Tobacco-Caused Disease
Menthol cigarettes attract youth, African-Americans and may make it harder to quit
Mar 17, 2011
The tobacco industry’s spin machine has gone into overdrive as we near the March 23 deadline for an Food and Drug Administration science advisory committee to issue a report on menthol cigarettes.
It's trying to convince the media — and nervous investors — that the committee will find menthol does not make cigarettes any more harmful, and nothing should be done about it.
Continue reading Panel on Menthol Sees Through Tobacco Industry’s Smoke
A baker’s dozen of lobbyists work to thwart health gains
Mar 14, 2011
In the spirit of Nick Naylor, the fictitious tobacco-industry lobbyist lampooned in the 2005 film Thank You for Smoking, lobbyists seeking to keep Oklahoma cities and towns from setting their own smoke-free policies are enjoying a business boom.
The Oklahoman reports that big tobacco companies have hired at least 13 lobbyists to try to defeat legislation that would let cities regulate smoking in public places.
Continue reading Smoke-Free Battle in Oklahoma Shows How Far Big Tobacco Will Go to Protect Profits
Even the smoking baby knows better
Mar 2, 2011
Thousands of international, scientific studies have proved the addictive power of nicotine, the essential element in tobacco products that gets people hooked and keeps them using a product that kills them.
That arresting video of a chain-smoking Indonesian toddler that went viral on the Web last year was clear and disturbing proof that this potent drug can work its deadly grip on anyone, of any age.
Continue reading Tobacco Supporters in Indonesia Still Say It’s Not Addictive
Companies convicted of racketeering still trying to cover up
Feb 24, 2011
Tobacco companies have never let the facts get in the way of their deadly marketing.
So it's no surprise that they're still trying to thwart the Justice Department — and a federal judge — even though they've been found guilty of a long conspiracy to deceive and defraud the American people.
Continue reading Lies, Damn Lies and Big Tobacco