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Typical cigarette packages before and after plain packaging was introduced

Coming up to a year after standardised ‘plain packaging’ was fully implemented in the UK on 20 May 2017, the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) [1] and now Japan Tobacco International (JTI) [2] have claimed that it’s a failure.

Why is Big Tobacco bothering, when it’s clear the UK is tough on tobacco, won its case in the courts and is not going to reverse the legislation? The reason is obvious, this is a last ditch and desperate attempt to delay and discourage the many other governments coming down the same track. Three countries have fully implemented plain packs to date…

by Anna Hazelwood

Don’t let smokescreens like the PMI-funded ‘Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’ [1] deceive you — Big Tobacco continues to pump its lethal smoked products into low- and middle-income countries, exacerbating poverty and racking up billions of dollars along the way.

As the company continues to undermine tobacco control policies across the globe, [2] [3] its solemn commitment to a smokefree future is more than a little disingenuous. [4]

Major advancements in tobacco control across countries like the UK, have displaced international conglomerates such as PMI to low- and middle-income populations, where 80% of the world’s smokers now…


My name is Nick Voulvoulis. I’m a Professor of Environmental Technology here at Imperial College in the Centre for Environmental Policy. My work is mainly on the interface between human systems and natural systems; so understanding how we interact with the environment and live more sustainably.

The problems we face around the planet has to do with how we consume resources. We create waste and pollute, forcing the planet to it limits. Global cigarette consumption has grown dramatically in the last decades with annual production and consumption have been significantly increasing in the developing world.

This summer here…

by Christina Watts, Becky Freeman and Marita Hefler

“Giving back to the community matters to PMI. In #Mexico our team donated gifts to local organizations that help vulnerable youth. #InsidePMI”

This Tweet, published in 2017 by Philip Morris International, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, is part of a strategic communication plan to reshape the battered reputation of the tobacco industry. In reality, for a company that targets these same vulnerable youth to use its deadly products, the donation of “gifts” is little more than corporate window dressing.

Tweets of this nature are not uncommon. Our paper published in…

In the week of its AGM, ASH is urging British American Tobacco (BAT) to stop turning a blind eye to child labour and unacceptable working conditions on Zimbabwean tobacco farms which supply 6% of the company’s tobacco leaf.

BAT’s ‘Supplier Code of Conduct and Child Labour Policy’, published in 2016, outlined its commitment to ensuring a safe working environment and prohibiting child labour. Yet a report from Human Rights Watch published this month entitled ‘A Bitter Harvest’ finds farmers in Zimbabwe are ill-informed of the risks associated with nicotine exposure, and are not receiving the necessary training or equipment to…

British diplomats defended BAT’s overseas activities, a company under investigation for corruption by the Serious Fraud Office

Despite the perennially gloomy economic forecasts about Britain, it stubbornly remains one of the world’s most powerful economies. The UK is currently the 5th largest economy by GDP [1] and a number of British companies are listed as some of the biggest in the world.

Unfortunately, amongst the remaining titans of commerce, monsters remain. Two of the largest tobacco conglomerates in the world are British. These are Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth-largest cigarette manufacturer [2] with its head office in Bristol. …

Cameroon school children at point of sale where tobacco advertising is visible. Photo credit: ATCA

Tih Ntiabang is the Regional Coordinator — AFRO, for the Framework Convention Alliance.

The latest ‘sustainability’ report published by British American Tobacco (BAT) states: “we are committed to operating to the highest standards of corporate conduct and transparency.” [1] In pursuit of its strategic goals, the multinational even tries to portray itself as being in alignment with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Is it necessary to remind anyone of BAT’s historic and ongoing appalling business conduct across the globe — specifically in low and middle-income countries, with the African region being a key target?

Legacy tobacco industry documents show…

Recently we spoke with Dr. Nick Hopkinson about the #MakeThemPay Polluter Pays Campaign and his involvement with the Smokefree Arts campaign.

Dr Nick Hopkinson on Polluter Pays: Cuts to Stop Smoking Services

Transcript of the video:

The issue is not that councils don’t understand that smoking cessation isn’t important. It’s just because that because of cuts to funding, they simply can’t support smoking cessation services anymore in competition with the other things they have to provide. But there’s a huge amount of money in smoking and the tobacco industry continues to make massive profits.

The obvious solution to this problem…

Headquartered in London, British American Tobacco (BAT) is one of the biggest transnational tobacco companies. This Wednesday BAT is hosting its Annual General Meeting in London. In line with the “Polluter Pays Principle” ASH is calling on the Government and political leaders to hold Big Tobacco financially responsible for the damage it causes. We must #MakeThemPay.

In 2009, six of the top tobacco producing countries had undernourishment rates between 5–27%. [1] If the 5.3 million hectares of land used for growing tobacco instead grew food, between 10–20 million people could be fed.

On Wednesday 7 February, long-time activist Cecilia Farren attended the Imperial Brands AGM. Below is her report.

I’ve been attending Imperial Brands/Tobacco AGM for about 20 years. Usually alone but occasionally we gathered a group of demonstrators protesting outside with placards. One year the then CEO, Gareth Davis, had stated under oath that it was unproven that smoking caused cancer. We stood outside the AGM wearing pig masks and wings with placards saying ‘Yes Gareth, pigs can fly’ and ‘Gareth for President — of the Flat Earth Society’. This year, I was on my own but looked forward to meeting…


Action on Smoking and Health - A campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco.

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