Trade Associations

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A trade association is an organisation founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific sector or geographical region.1 Trade associations promote the interests of their members. As such some have supported the tobacco industry, by helping lobby on their interests as members. On this page there is a selection of trade associations from around the globe with tobacco links. Many are clearly connected to the industry as they represent tobacco companies, have tobacco industry personnel in senior positions or as members. Others echo industry arguments and are not transparent on their members. For many of them we provide individual pages, giving even more background information which can be found by clicking on the title of the organisation.

Trade Associations

Trade Association


Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)


India’s largest cigarette company ITC Ltd is a Patron member of ASSOCHAM India and has a management committee seat. Tobacco company Godfrey Philips India is also a member. 2 ASSOCHAM joined the tobacco companies’ coordinated fight against larger pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs.3 One of numerous such articles based on ASSOCHAM statements.

Anti-Counterfeiting Group

Established by British American Tobacco (BAT), the group has grown to more than 150 industry members, including tobacco companies. It has lobbied against tobacco controls on plain packaging.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)


The CII partnered with ITC, India’s biggest cigarette manufacturer, to create the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development in 2006. Domestic tobacco companies are members and ITC’s chief executive Sanjiv Puri chairs its advisory council. 4 The CII joined the industry’s fight against mandatory pictorial health warnings covering on cigarette packs. 5

Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC)


CWEIC is the Commonwealth’s top business organisation and replaced the pro-tobacco Commonwealth Business Council in 2014. It is mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote trade across 53 member countries. Lord Marland chairs its advisory council, which includes lobbyist Lynton Crosby whose firm has frequently worked for tobacco companies. 6 CWEIC “strategic partners” include India’s business associations CII and FICCI, and Bangladesh’s FBICCI, which all have tobacco executives on their boards or leadership committees.7

Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana (COPARMEX)


COPARMEX is a business association with over 36,000 member companies. Philip Morris International included COPARMEX on the list of business associations in which it had held a leadership role during 2021.8 It has lobbied against tobacco control measures including a ban on the display and marketing of tobacco, arguing that this would violate free trade, increase illicit trade, and impact small businesses.9 It has also opposed restrictions relating to outdoor smoking spaces.10

Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI)


FBCCI is a business organisation which promotes private sector interests in Bangladesh. British American Tobacco‘s current chairman Golam Mainuddin 11 is one of FBCCI’s elected directors for the 2019-2020 term. FBCCI is a strategic partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. 12

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)


Cigarette manufacturers ITC and Godfrey Philips are associate members of FICCI, India’s largest and oldest business organisation. Two senior ITC staff sit on key committees.13FICCI has lobbied against “over-regulation” such as pictorial health warnings covering cigarette packs. It advocated for tobacco trade bodies and farmers to attend COP7. FICCI also co-wrote a 2017 KPMG report on illicit tobacco trade.14

Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry


The Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) is a business network based in Bangladesh [note there is an Indian organisation with a similar name]. BAT Bangladesh, Philip Morris Bangladesh, and United Dhaka Tobacco Co are all listed as member organisations.15 Tobacco industry executives sit on the board of directors and several FICCI committees, including Neil Coupland of United Dhaka Tobacco Company LTD as Vice President. 1617 Former presidents also include BAT Bangladesh executive Shehzad Munim.18 The FICCI has opposed amendments to the 2005 tobacco control law, which included plans to eliminate smoking zones, and ban the sale of loose cigarettes.1920

International Chamber of Commerce


The ICC, a Paris-based organisation, was founded in 1919 and bills itself as the world’s largest business organisation. It regularly issues reports sympathetic to the tobacco industry, lobbied against plain packaging proposals and British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and Philip Morris International (PMI) sit on its influential anti-counterfeiting and piracy initiative.

National Organization for Retail Trade (NORT)


The president of this trade association, Bondariev Yurii Oleksandrovych, spent 16 years in senior positions at PMI Ukraine. The organisation has lobbied against tobacco control policies.21 It describes itself as a group seeking to lobby the government for better policies for business.22

The National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (CANACINTRA)


The Chamber has lobbied in favour of the tobacco industry’s interest in Mexico, for many years.23 A senior member of British American Tobacco in Mexico is the Chamber’s representative for alcohol, tobacco, food and beverage issues 24

US Chamber of Commerce & American Chambers of Commerce Abroad


The US Chamber of Commerce, and its allied 117 American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) in 103 countries represent US business interests globally. The Chamber, which describes itself as “the world’s largest business organization”, counts tobacco corporations amongst its members and has opposed tobacco control measures across the globe.

The U.S.-Pakistan Business Council (USPBC)


USPBC was founded in 2002 as part of the Asia Programme of the US Chamber of Commerce. It states that it is “dedicated to the broad advancement of U.S commercial engagement in Pakistan”.2526 PMI Global Services Inc, a subsidiary of Philip Morris International (PMI), is a USPBC member, and PMI’s Vice President of External Affairs, J.B. Simko, sits on the USPBC board.27 In 2015, USPBC stated that “Investors value strong protection of intellectual property rights…the recent graphic health warning regulation which would significantly undermine the ability of brand owners to use their legally sanctioned trademarks, hurts business confidence”. UPPBC also encouraged a “reasonable tax structure” for businesses, to “enhance government revenue… [and] help American companies view Pakistan as a favorable destination”.28

Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI)


The Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) lobby government on behalf of their members, including three major tobacco corporations, who “…have the opportunity to comment government’s plans in a very early stage and influence plans in their favour.” 29 They have partnered with the tobacco industry to oppose tobacco control measures and for corporate social responsibility campaigns in Zambia. 30

Zwiazek Przedsiebiorcow I Pracadawcow


One of Poland’s largest trade associations with more than 50,000 different companies. This organisation has lobbied for looser regulations for various industries, including tobacco. The association has advocated for the introduction of e-cigarettes and against tobacco control policies in Poland.31

Tobacco Tactics Resources

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  1. European Consumer Centre for Services, Trade Associations, undated, accessed January 2020
  2. Assocham, Patron members list, undated, accessed January 2020
  3. Unknown, Industry losing 350 Crore a day due to warnings on tobacco products: Assocham, The Economic Times, 16 April 2016, accessed January 2020
  4. CII-ITC, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, undated, accessed January 2020
  5. Mukherjee, W.CII, FICCI oppose 85% pictorial warning on tobacco products, 11 May 2016, accessed January 2020
  6. CWEIC, CWEIC Annual review, 2016, accessed January 2020
  7. CWEIC,CWEIC Strategic Partners, undated, accessed January 2020
  8. Philip Morris International, Participation in Business and Trade Associations 2021, undated, accessed September 2022
  9. COPARMEX, Letter to National Commission for Regulatory Improvement Restricting, undated, accessed September 2022
  10. La Secretaría de Salud busca prohibir la exhibición de cigarros y productos de tabaco; el sector privado ve golpe a la economía, Animal Político, August 2022, accessed September 2022
  11. British American Tobacco Bangladesh,Golam Mainuddin, undated, accessed January 2020
  12. FBCCI,Board of Directors 2019-2021, 11 June 2019, accessed January 2020
  13. FICCI,Corporate Members,undated, accessed January 2020
  14. Millennium Post, Illicit tobacco trade on rise in India: Ficci-KPMG report, 16 October 2017, accessed January 2020
  15. Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd, Membership, website, undated, accessed August 2022
  16. Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd, Board of Directors, website, undated, accessed August 2022
  17. Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd, FICCI Committees, website, undated, accessed August 2022
  18. Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd, Former Presidents, website, undated, accessed August 2022
  19. Unrealistic, unimplementable measures to fuel severe socio-economic impact: Critics, The Business Post, September 2022, accessed October 2022
  20. Govt to lose huge revenue if amended Tobacco Control Act is implemented, Dhaka Tribune, July 2022, accessed August 2022
  21. NORT, tobacco companies possible closure in Ukraine,15 October 2019, accessed January 2020
  22. NORT, Purpose of creation,undated, accessed January 2020
  23. El Economista, Canacintra pide reconsiderar aumento a cigarros, 24 October 2010, accessed January 2020
  24. CANACINTRA, CANACINTRA, undated, accessed January 2020
  25. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, website, archived June 2022, accessed October 2022
  26. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Asia Programme, website, archived May 2022, accessed October 2022
  27. U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, Members, website, archived July 2022, accessed September 2022
  28. U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, USPBC Welcomes Efforts to Strengthen U.S.-Pakistan Business Ties, letter, March 2015, accessed August 2022
  29. Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Advocacy, accessed January 2020
  30. Lusaka Star BAT, ZACCI LAUNCHES UNDERAGE SMOKING AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, 1 Feb 2019, accessed January 2020
  31. ZPP,Negative Pluses: Increase in excise duties on alcohol and cigarettes, January 2020, accessed January 2020