All Industry Watch Updates


A new report documents how the tobacco industry is breaking laws and exploiting loopholes to target kids with deadly tobacco products in 14 countries across Latin America. According to the report, the tobacco industry is using a variety of marketing tactics – some illegal – to target youth at shops, kiosks and other places where tobacco is sold to consumers.


This summer, an investigative series by The New York Times exposed how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has worked systematically in countries around the world to fight life-saving policies to reduce tobacco use. The Chamber’s strategies have included directly opposing countries’ tobacco control policies, pitting countries against each other in costly international trade disputes, and seeking to influence trade agreements to benefit tobacco companies.

PRESS RELEASE | Oct 9, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – It is absurd that tobacco giants Philip Morris International and Altria are complaining the tobacco industry is being "singled out" because the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement prevents them from using the TPP to attack life-saving measures to reduce tobacco use.

PRESS RELEASE | Sep 2, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the city of Boston delivered a huge victory for kids by acting to take tobacco out of baseball once and for all. This action will save lives by reducing the number of young people who begin to use smokeless tobacco because they followed the example of the Major Leaguers they idolize. The City Council voted unanimously to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products at baseball parks, including Fenway Park, and other professional and amateur sports venues throughout the city.


A year ago, a reinvigorated truth® campaign challenged young people to “finish it” and help end the tobacco epidemic for good. Now a new truth ad has another important message: The battle isn’t just about cigarettes. With the warning “Don’t get played while they get paid,” the ad informs young people that other tobacco products, such as hookah and little cigars, are also addictive and deadly, even if they are often disguised with candy flavors. The ad aired Sunday night during the Teen Choice Awards.


New examples continue to emerge about how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) affiliates have done the bidding of the tobacco industry and fought measures to reduce tobacco use around the world. In the latest example, Norway’s Health Minister Bent Høie is blasting the American Chamber of Commerce in Norway for opposing a government proposal to require that tobacco products be sold in plain packaging.

PRESS RELEASE | Jul 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A report released today by an international group of public interest and health organizations builds on the recent multi-part investigation by The New York Times and provides additional documentation and detail about how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (U.S. Chamber) has helped the tobacco industry fight life-saving policies in more than a dozen countries, undermining measures intended to combat a global tobacco epidemic that threatens one billion lives this century. 


PRESS RELEASE | Jul 7, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Demonstrating true corporate leadership, today CVS Health announced it is resigning from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of the Chamber’s activities supporting the tobacco industry in the U.S. and across the globe. When the leaders of CVS Health decided last year to stop selling tobacco products, CEO Larry Merlo explained it well. “Put simply,” he said, “the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”


In a statement today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin, Jeff Merkley, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, and Sheldon Whitehouse reacted to recent reports by The New York Times exposing how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has worked systematically in countries around the world to help the tobacco industry fight life-saving measures to reduce tobacco use.


An in-depth story published today in The New York Times exposes how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has worked systematically in countries around the world to help the tobacco industry fight life-saving measures to reduce tobacco use.

The Times story examines the U.S. Chamber’s three-pronged approach to fighting back against life-saving measures to reduce tobacco use like smoke-free indoor public places, graphic warning labels on tobacco products, restrictions on tobacco marketing and increased tobacco taxes. The U.S. Chamber’s tactics, deployed in countries ranging from Nepal to the Philippines to Uruguay, include:


When the Reynolds American tobacco company recently completed its purchase of Lorillard, Reynolds CEO Susan Cameron touted the deal as a return to the “old days” for the tobacco industry.

When it comes to Big Tobacco, the “old days” were a time when youth smoking rates were skyrocketing, the industry used cartoons and cowboys to target kids, and tobacco executives denied that smoking was addictive or caused disease.


Around the world, health advocates are fighting back against the latest youth-oriented marketing campaign for Marlboro cigarettes – and calling on governments to stop Marlboro once and for all.

For decades, the iconic Marlboro Man made Marlboro the most popular cigarette brand among youth – fueling a global epidemic that will kill one billion people this century if current trends continue.


Teen use of electronic cigarettes has skyrocketed, with the most recent surveys showing that e-cigarette use now exceeds cigarette smoking among U.S. youth.

It's not surprising. E-cigarette manufacturers continue to use marketing tactics that come right out of Big Tobacco's playbook for promoting regular cigarettes to kids. Their tactics include slick magazine ads, sponsorship of concerts and auto races, celebrity endorsements and sweet, colorful flavors.


The youth-oriented “Be Marlboro” marketing campaign from tobacco giant Philip Morris International continues to spread around the world. The latest stop: The country of Georgia.

Last month, a “Be Marlboro” promotional event was spotted in a high-end shopping mall in Tbilisi, Georgia. Located in a high traffic area, the “Be Marlboro” display featured two Ferrari race cars and a video game stand surrounded by bean bag chairs in the red and white Marlboro colors. Not surprisingly, the booth attracted the attention of children at the mall.

PRESS RELEASE | Jun 9, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 9, 2015) – Los Angeles Councilmember José Huizar (District 14) today announced plans to introduce an ordinance to eliminate the use of smokeless tobacco products at all baseball venues in Los Angeles, both to set the right example for America’s youth and for the health of the players. The legislation will send a simple and powerful message to kids with the 2015 season in full swing: baseball and tobacco don’t mix.

PRESS RELEASE | Apr 10, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee had no choice but to recommend rejection of Swedish Match's application because it did not answer the basic question of whether, if it were allowed to make the claim of lower risk, smokers would switch from cigarettes to snus or use both products at the same time.  A properly prepared application could well have received a different result, but the flaws in the application were so blatant that they made it impossible for the advisory committee to rule in their favor.

PRESS RELEASE | Mar 30, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – In troubling news for our nation’s kids and health, the Federal Trade Commission’s latest reports on tobacco marketing show that cigarette marketing expenditures increased by nearly 10 percent, to $9.17 billion, in 2012. Adding $435.7 million in smokeless tobacco marketing, the tobacco companies spent a total of $9.6 billion to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco – that’s $26 million each day and more than $1 million every hour. The cigarette marketing increase was driven by a sharp rise in spending on price discounts, which now account for 85 percent of all cigarette marketing.

PRESS RELEASE | Mar 2, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – A new study published today finds that Internet vendors of electronic cigarettes do little to prevent youth from purchasing their products and teens can easily buy e-cigarettes online despite claims that online vendors verify customer age. The study, conducted in North Carolina, found that only five out of 98 attempts by teens to buy e-cigarettes online were blocked by online vendors’ attempts to verify customer age.


The big tobacco companies proclaim loudly and often that they have changed and are now responsible corporate citizens.

But it took just 18 minutes for political satirist John Oliver to rip those claims to shreds and show how Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies target kids around the world and bully countries that try to save lives.


Tobacco companies claim they don’t market their products to kids, but their actions continue to show otherwise.

The latest example: Sports Illustrated’s just-published 2015 swimsuit issue, which contains an astounding seven ads for tobacco products. Amid the photos of curvaceous models in barely-there bikinis, there are two ads for cigarette brands (Natural American Spirit and Newport), three ads for the leading smokeless tobacco brands (Grizzly, Skoal and Copenhagen) and two ads for electronic cigarettes (MarkTen and blu).

PRESS RELEASE | Jan 13, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Poisoning incidents involving electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine jumped by 156 percent from 2013 to 2014 and have increased more than 14 fold since 2011, new data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers shows. Calls to poison control centers involving exposures to e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine increased to 3,957 in 2014 from 1,543 in 2013 and 271 in 2011 (according to the AAPCC, the preliminary 2014 data will be updated as poison centers update their reports).


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.


PRESS RELEASE | Oct 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – By announcing restrictions on smoking in its facilities, Reynolds American seems to finally be admitting that secondhand smoke harms health after publicly denying it for decades. However, by allowing designated smoking areas, the company’s new policy is severely flawed and fails to provide effective protection from secondhand smoke and the lung cancer and heart disease it causes. As the U.S. Surgeon General and other public health authorities have found, only comprehensive smoke-free policies provide effective protection from secondhand smoke. Designated smoking areas fail to do so, as secondhand smoke does not stay in such areas.


Across the United States, poison control centers continue to report soaring numbers of accidental poisonings related to the nicotine liquid used in electronic cigarettes.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reports that, through August 31, there have been 2,724 calls so far this year involving exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine.  That is up from 1,542 in 2013, 460 in 2012 and 271 in 2011.

These reports have spurred a growing call by public health organizations and members of Congress to require child-resistant packaging of nicotine liquid products.


Philip Morris International's “Be Marlboro” campaign is coming under fire again for targeting youth. This time, the consumer protection agency from the Brazilian state of São Paulo has fined Philip Morris over $480,000.

The agency acted after a formal complaint was filed against Philip Morris by tobacco control activists who documented how its marketing tactics were aimed at youth. Paula Johns, Executive Director of the Brazilian advocacy organization ACT, calls the campaign "cynical", noting that “independence and autonomy are associated with a product that actually makes the person dependent."

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