Big tobacco sees an opportunity in the pandemic

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Over the last few months, as COVID-19 has spread around the world, big tobacco has exploited the pandemic to push its branding and products. As Andy Rowell, from the Tobacco Control Reserch Group at the University of Bath explains in a new article, the industry never misses a trick when it comes to exploiting the chaos of international crises, including wars. The current pandemic is no exception.

The strategy is to use the pandemic to try and shift their image from vilified industry to trusted health partner. The tactics they have employed to achieve this are shameless, even for an industry as controversial as tobacco. There are examples of tobacco companies offering assistance in the form of ventilators, gels, PPE and even cash. They are even involved in trying to develop a vaccine. While there is no doubt that these have been gratefully received by authorities struggling with a chronic lack of resources, the industry has been up to other tricks, too. And one British FTSE 100 company is proving particularly adept.

Read the full article at The Conversation.