Tobacco Supply Chain

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The tobacco products that destroy so many people's lives are the result of the activities of a number of companies taking place around the world. The Tobacco Supply Chain Database enables tobacco control researchers and advocates to understand what the supply chain is, where it is located and who is involved. The 'About' section at the bottom of the page provides information about the database development and how to use and cite the database.

Tobacco Actors

  • Farmers
    • Leaf Dealers
    • Leaf Processors
    • Leaf Suppliers
    • Manufacturers
    • Transport, Distribution, Wholesalers
  • Retailers, Sales Reps
  • Smokers
  • Refuse Collectors

Process Steps

Agriculture

Tobacco Forms

Seeds then plants grown, harvested & cured

Tobacco Actors

  • Farmers
  • Leaf Dealers
  • Leaf
  • Leaf Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • Transport, Distribution, Wholesalers
View Details

Primary Processing

Tobacco Forms

Plants-sorted, stemmed, redried, blended. Flavour & dyes added

Tobacco Actors

  • Leaf Processors
View Details

Secondary Processing

Tobacco Forms

Filters, flavour capsules, paper, packaging etc. added

Tobacco Actors

  • Manufacturers
View Details

Logistics

Tobacco Forms

Processed and unprocessed products

Tobacco Actors

  • Leaf Dealers
  • Leaf Suppliers
  • Transport, Wholesale, Distribution
View Details

Retail & Marketing

Tobacco Forms

Packaged products: cigarettes, cigars, bidis, RYO, oral tobacco, shisha

Tobacco Actors

  • Retailers
  • Sales Reps
View Details
View All Company Data →

Tobacco Industry Newer Nicotine Products

The tobacco supply chain refers only to traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, traditional oral and nasal tobacco products (such as SNUS and snuff ) and traditional South Asian smokeless tobacco. Although there will be some convergences, it is not the supply chain for the tobacco industry's newer nicotine products, generally arriving on the market since the year 2000 - e-cigarettes (electronic nicotine devices (ENDS) and electronic non nicotine devices (ENNDS)), heated tobacco products (HTP), nicotine pouches or nicotine replacement therapies (NRT).

How Do Companies Contribute?

Use the drop down box below to select a tobacco supply chain process and reveal five leading companies (further information on companies is available by clicking on 'View all company data' underneath the table).

Process Steps

Company
Linked Companies
Country Based
Supply Chain Process
View All Company Data →

Where Are Companies Located?

Pick a country from the drop down box to find it on the map and pick a supply chains process from the drop down box to find where companies are located. Click on a country on the map to find statistics on smoking, its impact and how easy it is to buy cigarettes.

View All International Tobacco Trade Data →

Global Tobacco Trade

Top Five Countries Contributing To Tobacco Trade - click on the country names in the key to include or exclude

Trade Value (US$)

View All International Tobacco Trade Data →

About

The sections below describe how the database was developed, how to use and cite the database, and how to contact us.

What is the tobacco supply chain database

Public health research, advocacy and policy has traditionally concentrated on understanding and addressing the demand for tobacco through, for example, fiscal policy, reducing the attractiveness of packaging and aids to cessation. Here we shed light on the supply side of tobacco in order to aid the development of comprehensive tobacco control measures. The database is intended to be used for understanding the tobacco industry globally or within their country. The database answers question on:

How does the supply chain work? What are the processes that transform tobacco plant seeds into cigarettes and other tobacco products purchased by smokers? What inputs from other industries are required?

Who contributes to the tobacco supply chain? What companies supply the products and services that the tobacco supply chain relies on?

Where does the tobacco supply chain exist? Which countries are involved? Researchers and campaigners, seeking to design effective policy preventing the expansion of this industry and the health harms it produces, need to look beyond the big 4 transnational tobacco companies to identify under-exploited leverage points along the entire tobacco supply chain.

Bloomfield MJ, Hiscock R, Mehegan J & Gilmore AB, The Tobacco supply chains Database, Tobacco Control Research Group, University of Bath Available from https://tobaccotactics.org/supplychainsdatabase….. Accessed [Add here the date of access]

Hosting

The Tobacco supply chains Database is hosted on the Tobacco Tactics website. Tobacco Tactics is a knowledge exchange platform published by the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG), Department for Health, University of Bath. The TCRG is a multidisciplinary, international research group examining how companies influence health and policy; and evaluates and provides evidence for policy change.

Tobacco supply chains Database team

The Tobacco supply chains Database has been devised and created by a team of expert researchers based at the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group.

Michael Bloomfield – Senior Lecturer in International Development specialising in the political economy of supply chains

Rosemary Hiscock – Research Associate specialising in tobacco control and health inequalities

John Mehegan- Research Analyst specialising in public health data and databases

Anna Gilmore – Professor of Public Health and principal investigator of the STOP Project conceived the idea for the database and provided invaluable advice

Other contributors

Hala Alaouie – PhD Candidate specialising in tobacco control

Development partners

The supply chains team would like to thank Vital Strategies and DxDy Digital for web-based design and programming. Stella B Bialous provided invaluable initial advice.

Collaboration opportunities

Consistent with Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC we will not engage with any organisation or individual connected to the tobacco industry. However, we welcome feedback, data and collaboration from those with a genuine interest in the field and no links to the tobacco industry. Please send a request to:

tobacco-supply-chain AT bath.ac.uk

explaining how you would like to collaborate, who you are, your area of expertise and confirming that you have no links to the tobacco industry and no conflicts of interest.

Funding

The supply chains database is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP). STOP is a global tobacco industry watchdog with a mission to expose and counter industry behaviour that undermines public health. Through robust monitoring, research and reporting, STOP holds the tobacco industry accountable and supports efforts around the world to address industry interference in policy. STOP is a partnership between the TCRG at the University of Bath (UK), the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (Thailand), the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (USA), and Vital Strategies (USA).

How to use the database

There are various ways to use the database:

Infographic

Click on the process (agriculture, primary processing, secondary processing, logistics or retail & marketing) on the infographic. This takes you to the relevant supply chain database search table.

Companies

Choose the relevant process, input and country that you are interested in. More information is available about each company by clicking on it.

Countries

Choose the relevant process, trade category, year and flow (import/export) to interact with the data by country.

World Map

Click on the country to find more about its supply chain imports and exports and supply chain contributing companies

Alternatively explore patterns over time by using the graph function.

Citation

Please cite the supply chains database as follows:

Bloomfield MJ, Hiscock R, Mehegan J & Gilmore AB, The Tobacco supply chains Database, Tobacco Control Research Group, University of Bath Available from https://tobaccotactics.org/supplychainsdatabase….. [Accessed…]

Feedback

We welcome feedback and updates to the content of the supply chains database from organisations and individuals who have no links or conflicts of interest with the tobacco industry.

Email tobacco-supply-chain AT bath.ac.uk to get in touch with us.

Please email with as much detail, references and supporting material as possible.

Methodology

Data collation

Identification of supply chain processes and supply chain inputs from other industries

    1. Search of the academic literature using the search terms ‘supply chain’ AND ‘(tobacco OR ciga*) 2013-2019
    2. Search of tobacco industry magazines 2019-20

The main processes identified were included in the infographic: agriculture, primary processing, secondary processing, logistics, retail & marketing, use and disposal.  Supplementary processes where company data and sometimes international trade data was identified were research & development, tobacco accessories and financing/business services.

Industries were identified which support the tobacco supply chain by providing inputs.  These include machinery, equipment, chemicals, additions to create final tobacco products (e.g. filters, packaging) and buildings to house tobacco supply chain processes.

Identification of supply chain companies

    1. Search of tobacco industry magazines 2019-20
    2. Companies identified in connection with searches for tobacco industry subsidiaries
    3. Web searches of company names identified

 

Identification of transnational tobacco company and leaf company subsidiaries

    1. Search of company webpages Jan to July 2021
    2. Search of annual reports
    3. Web searches of (a) subsidiary names (b) subsidiary names + supply chain processes

 

Identification of country-level tobacco supply chain data

    1. Consultation with experts
    2. Search of data websites (UNdata, FAO, WHO, Global burden of Disease)
    3. Data downloaded and repeat download scheduled

 

Data coding

Each company/subsidiary was coded for their contribution to the tobacco supply chain. This could be in terms of the process they are involved in (agriculture, primary processing, secondary processing, logistics, retail & marketing) and, where relevant, in terms of their supply chain input (machinery, knives, conveyor belts, flavourings, paper, filters etc).

Coding rules:
Planned contributions: these are coded
Ending contributions: these are not coded unless there is clear evidence that they are currently substantially in place. Nevertheless, they are described in the company text on the company page.

Recently defunct contributions: these are not coded but they are described in the company text on the company page.

Some companies named in tobacco industry magazines have no supply chain processes or products attributed.  This means that either (a) we could not find any mention of the company on our web searches or (b) the company was identified but we could not find any recent link to the tobacco industry.  Lack of confirmation implies that the tobacco industry magazine was referring to historic links only.

Outsourced functions (e.g. tobacco product distribution for a tobacco company subsidiary is carried out by an independent third-party company): these are not coded for the tobacco company subsidiary but they are described in the company text on the company page. The independent third-party company will have an entry in the database.

Independent supply chain company subsidiaries: these are only listed where they support the tobacco supply chain.

Tobacco Industry newer nicotine products – heated tobacco products (htps), e-cigarettes & oral pouches: the Tobacco Supply Chain Database is currently primarily focussed on the supply chain for traditional tobacco products. Newer nicotine products may occasionally be mentioned when they are an important part of a company’s/subsidiary’s activity, in addition to their contribution the supply chain of traditional tobacco products.

Further details on selected processes and products:

Supply chain process – Agriculture: Tobacco industry subsidiaries typically do not directly employ farmers, instead they issue contracts for each growing season. Such contracts tend to mean they interact substantially with farmers, supply inputs and training and agree to purchase the tobacco leaves. For this reason, if a contract with farmers is mentioned or there is similar evidence of close contact, a company/subsidiary will be coded as being involved in agriculture.

Supply chain process – R&D: research & development also includes consultancy.

Supply chain input – machinery: also includes IT hardware and software and similar business services.

 

Data sources

Infographic: Hiscock, R., & Bloomfield, M. J. (2021). The value of studying supply chains for tobacco control. Tobacco prevention & cessation, 7, 15.

Trade products: UNdata/FAO

Climate change statistics: Zafeiridou, M., Hopkinson, N.S., & Voulvoulis, N. (2018). Cigarette smoking: an assessment of tobacco’s global environmental footprint across its entire supply chain. Environmental Science & Technology. 52.15.: 8087-094.

Population data: World Bank

Deaths attributed to smoking: Global Burden of Disease

Price and tax of cigarettes: World Health Organisation 2016

Company contribution to the tobacco supply chain: References are sited on the relevant company page. Sources that are personal webpages have been withheld.

Note that the majority of sources on company activities are from the tobacco industry and supply chain companies.  Thus the database focuses on what companies are contributing rather than claims about effectiveness of products or relative sizes etc. where there is higher likelihood of exaggeration or minimisation for strategic purposes.

General Disclaimer

Although we work to rigorous standards and adhere to a strict guide for data input, there is no undertaking by the Tobacco Supply Chains Database, TobaccoTactics.org or the University of Bath that any part of this site is accurate, complete or up to date. You use this site at your own risk, and for guidance only.

This database is drawn from a range of public sources and aims to identify component parts of the tobacco industry supply chain. No inference should be made regarding any company listed in this database other than we have identified it is part of the tobacco supply chain.

None of the authors, contributors, sponsors, administrators, sysops, or anyone else connected with the Tobacco Supply Chains database, TobaccoTactics.org or the University of Bath will be responsible for the appearance of any material considered defamatory, offensive, inaccurate, unlawful or misleading, nor will they be responsible for your use of the information contained in these web pages, or the pages the Tobacco Supply Chains Database links to.

The Right of Reply procedure is set up to report complaints about any material considered defamatory, offensive, inaccurate or otherwise misrepresenting a person or an organisation.

Right of reply/Complaint Procedure

Let us know exactly which information on Tobacco Supply Chains database needs updating, and explain the potential errors it contains. Please email with as much detail, references and supporting material as possible to:

tobacco-supply-chain AT bath.ac.uk

We will consider your complaint and – if appropriate – update the information as soon as possible.

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