COVID-19

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STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products) has been producing a regular COVID-19 Monitoring Brief detailing the trends and patterns of tobacco industry behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can now access all of this monitoring data via the Tobacco industry COVID-19 monitoring database on this page.

Discover how the tobacco industry has used Corporate Social Responsibility to protect profits during the pandemic in this TobaccoTactics explainer:

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic is of particular relevance to the tobacco industry due to the nature of the disease. It is a viral infection of the lungs that can be severe and fatal. A host of tobacco-related conditions have been identified as associated risk factors for severe forms of COVID-19, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.=1 and the WHO has found that “smoking is associated with increased severity of disease and death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients”.2 Tobacco products and their associated health risks have therefore received negative attention.3

In addition to the disease itself, the resulting changes in global society, with lockdowns and social distancing imposed across much of the globe, have had cascading economic effects for many industries. As Philip Morris International (PMI) told investors:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant societal and economic disruption, and resulted in closures of stores, factories and offices, and restrictions on manufacturing, distribution and travel, all of which will adversely impact our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial position during the continuation of the pandemic.”.4

Tobacco Industry involvement in COVID-19 science

The science of COVID-19 and smoking is a rapidly evolving area of research. The latest developments are best covered in ‘living reviews’ of the evidence such as The Union’s SCIENTIFIC BRIEF ON SMOKING AND COVID-19 and University College London’s living rapid evidence review or the WHO’s Smoking and COVID-19 Scientific Brief.

The extent of tobacco industry involvement in research into COVID-19 and smoking is still unclear, though there are recorded instances of scientists with historical and contemporary financial links to the tobacco industry publishing COVID-19 related research without declaring these tobacco industry links.5 In such cases the research has tended to relate to the ‘Nicotine Hypothesis’ (see below for more detail) that nicotine offers protection from COVID-19 infection. This hypothesis is supported by research, published primarily on non-peer reviewed preprint publishing platforms such as Qeios, that indicates smokers are less likely to catch COVID-19.6

One such paper, first published without peer review in medRxiv, was later published by the European Respiratory Journal, only to be retracted in March 2021 when the journal became aware that three of the authors, Mier, Sussman and Poulas, had failed to declare their links to the tobacco industry.6 Other large scale population studies, not linked to the tobacco industry, have found that smokers are at increased risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms.7 The current scientific consensus is that smokers with COVID-19 have higher a risk of severe disease and death.8

Influencing the scientific debate, as seen with COVID-19, is an historical tobacco industry tactic. A key aim in influencing science is the creation of doubt around a given topic, be it the impact of second-hand smoke, links to diseases or newly arising public health issues. Calls that ‘more research is needed’ prevent the timely implementation of regulation, draw out the debate and confuse policymakers and the public. The tactic has been employed since its suggestion by PR firm Hill and Knowlton in 1953. Doubt creation is enabled by the commission and funding of research that fits the preferred industry narrative.9 The industry also exerts influence over science by ghost writing articles and research and covertly funding scientists, as was the case with PMI’s White Coat Project, which sought to “restore social acceptability of smoking”.10

Many of these tactics are apparent in the industry response to COVID-19:

  • The PMI funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World has published blogs and surveys on its website that address COVID-19.11 These include a blog that states “there is currently no evidence that smokers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized than non-smokers.”12 and another that says “more research needed” before the public is warned about the potential risk factors tobacco products pose for COVID-19.13
  • Scientists sponsored by the FSFW have been involved in COVID-19 research; the aforementioned Konstantinos Poulas has published widely on the ‘Nicotine Hypothesis’ and Riccardo Polosa, another FSFW-sponsored scientists, is to edit a special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) titled “A Public Health View on COVID-19: Epidemiology, Implications and Responses” to be published in November 2021.14 The IJERPH has a track record of publishing research by industry linked scientists without declaring tobacco industry associations.15 There is no evidence that the November 2021 edition will fail to declare conflict of interests.

For information on the science of smoking and COVID-19, and examples of industry influenced research see The Union’s scientific briefs.

Background on the “Nicotine Hypothesis” papers

The “Nicotinic Hypothesis” paper was initially published as a Qeios preprint (an online scientific publication platform where early results are published without peer-review).16 and later in the journal Comptes Rendus Biologies.17 Its lead author was Jean-Pierre Changeux, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the Institut Pasteur, Professor in the chair of Cellular Communications at the Collège de France and Honorary President of the Neuroscience Department at Institut Pasteur.18 Prof Changeux has, among many funders in his long and distinguished career, historic links with the tobacco industry:

  • Le Monde reported that between 1995 and 1998 he received grants amounting to US$220,000 from the Council for Tobacco Research,19 having approached the Council for funding. 20. The council had been exposed in 1993 in the Wall Street Journal as being tool for tobacco industry misinformation21.
  • In the late 1990s he became a “key collaborator” for Targacept, a pharmaceutical subsidiary of the tobacco company RJ Reynolds created to synthesise molecules for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease drugs. 22
  • In 2006/2007 he supervised and co-authored studies funded by Philip Morris International.23 24

There is no suggestion that the “Nicotine Hypothesis” paper was funded by the tobacco industry or that Prof Changeux has any current tobacco industry links.

Tobacco industry participation in vaccine development

The industry has investments in biotechnology companies and pharmaceuticals, some of which are involved in COVID-19 vaccine development. This includes BAT subsidiary Kentucky Bioprocessing and PMI subsidiary Medicago. These investments are part of the tobacco industry’s business strategy as well as making tobacco companies appear “part of the solution”.25 and may represent “one of the most successful corporate public relations strategies ever mounted by a tobacco company.” according to tobacco control experts Cohen and Chapman.26

For examples of tobacco industry involvement in vaccine development see the COVID-19 monitoring database. These examples are taken from our COVID-19 monitoring briefs published since April 2020.

Targeted donations and corporate social responsibility

The tobacco industry has long used “corporate social responsibility” (CSR), as a strategy to gain legitimacy, increase public trust and advance its business interests. Tobacco companies invest in wide range of causes, including sustainability, environmental and human rights NGOs, universities and art institutions. The WHO denounces tobacco industry CSR involvement as “an inherent contradiction”. Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) explicitly bans such activity and its promotion.27

CSR is also used as a strategy by tobacco companies to facilitate access to policymakers, break down opposition and promote voluntary regulation.28

The tobacco industry makes a point of announcing donations made in the wake of disasters around the world. Targeted donations such as these have been critiqued as “crisis-washing” (similar to “greenwashing”) the actions of corporations, like tobacco companies, whose business actively produces social and health harms.29 The outbreak of COVID-19 is no exception to the tobacco industry’s historic attempts to take advantage of disasters to promote its own CSR agenda and products.

For examples of targeted donations and CSR from the tobacco industry during the pandemic see the COVID-19 monitoring database. These examples are taken from our COVID-19 monitoring briefs published since April 2020.

Neglect of tobacco workers

The safety of tobacco workers in factories, tobacco farms, auctions and markets has been questioned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased pressure and interference from the tobacco industry to reopen factories, or to persist with production against the advice of health authorities, has increasingly placed their staff at risk. This has resulted in quarantines, positive COVID-19 tests and deaths. STOP, ASH US and GGTC have all spoken out on the risks to tobacco workers during the pandemic.30

For examples of tobacco worker’s rights violations during the pandemic see the COVID-19 monitoring database. These examples are taken from our COVID-19 monitoring briefs published since April 2020.

Policy interference, lobbying and delayed regulation

As governments have looked to introduce different regulations on tobacco products to reduce smoking prevalence, so the tobacco industry has fought to delay or derail such initiatives. If regulations are proposed then the industry will use a variety of arguments to argue that they are not necessary, will cost jobs, will be counter-productive or are illegal. The fall-back position is often that such regulations should be voluntary and written in conjunction with the industry, even though that is in violation of Article 5.3.

Once the regulations have been introduced then the industry will look to undermine their effectiveness by questioning what benefits they bring, seek legal challenges or use the legislative process to amend them.31 A good example of this are the regulations on plain packaging introduced by a number of countries.

The industry has deployed the same tactics in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The industry and its allies have challenged classifications of “essential” business and lobbied for shops and factories to remain open and for cigarette production to continue during the pandemic. Tobacco companies have also lobbied governments to reverse regulatory decisions to ban cigarette sales under international COVID-19 lockdowns and successfully delayed major tobacco control measures.

For examples of lobbying, policy and regulation interference from the tobacco industry during the pandemic see the COVID-19 monitoring database. These examples are taken from our COVID-19 monitoring briefs published since April 2020.

For further information on tobacco bans and regulation see GGTC’s country list of bans.

TI brand marketing during the pandemic

Tobacco companies have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a marketing opportunity to promote their brands via social media promotion and CSR.323334 

For examples of tobacco industry brand marketing during the pandemic see here. These examples are taken from our COVID-19 monitoring briefs published in the 12 months since April 2020.

Tobacco industry business

Like most businesses, the pandemic has been a turbulent time for the tobacco industry. Early shutdowns of all but essential industries impacted tobacco companies and lead to lobbying in Brazil and Russia to reopen tobacco factories. In South Africa the ban on tobacco and alcohol between April and August 2020 impacted sales and resulted in a court case between BAT and the government. Calls to tax the industry to pay for the health costs of the pandemic also had the potential to affect tobacco profits.35 PMI in its 2020 Q1 earnings report was concerned that “messaging about the potential negative impacts of the use of our products on COVID-19 risks may lead to increasingly restrictive regulatory measures on the sale and use of our products”. Despite these concerns, PMI’s end of year results reported a “robust 2020 performance” of sales volume being down and that the “negative COVID impact on industry volumes [would] reverse over 2021-22”.36

For more examples of how tobacco industry business has been impacted during COVID-19 see the COVID-19 monitoring database. These examples are taken from our COVID-19 monitoring briefs published since April 2020.


Tobacco industry COVID-19 monitoring database

Reference Monitoring Period Information Tactic Country Organisation
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 PMI donating ventilators
CSR
Greece PMI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 BAT Bangladesh donating PPE and hand sanitiser
CSR
Bangladesh BAT
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Producing PPE
CSR
USA and Canada PMI and Parallax
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Donated 400 face masks to Cavite hospital
CSR
Philippines PMFTC
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Donated hand sanitiser and face masks
CSR
Nigeria PMI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Partnered with companies to produce 300,000 litres of hand sanitiser
CSR
Kenya BAT
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Donated 100,000 hand gels
CSR
Georgia PMI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Donated $2.1million Reias to invest in actions to address coronavirus and 600 litres of sanitising alcohol
CSR
Brazil PMI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Donated €1million to Red Cross in Romania
CSR
Romania PMI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Donated 320,000 leva for medicines and protective equipment
CSR
Bulgaria PMI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Johann Rupert contributed R1 billion to SA government for small businesses
CSR
South Africa BAT and FMF
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Donated ₹25 lakh to India government for COVID-19 relief
CSR
India Deccan Tobacco Company
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 State-run tobacco company donated $1million to COVID-19 relief
CSR
Lebanon Regie
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Rwandan businessman, owner of Meridian Tobacco Company and Chair of the Pan African Tobacco Group donated money to Ugandan government for COVID-19 relief
CSR
Uganda Meridian Tobacco Company and Pan African Tobacco Group
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 A regional governor has requested pandemic donations from BAT
CSR
Nigeria BAT
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 JTI donated money to a hardship fund for independent retailers
CSR
UK JTI
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 Vinataba donated money and equipment to the Vietnam Heart Institute at Bach Mai Hospital
CSR
Vietnam Vinataba
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 Indian Tobacco Company delivering their food brands to homes
CSR
India Indian Tobacco Company
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 BAT highlighted it’s CSR and COVID-19 work plan in an open letter to the public from Chief Executive Jack Bowles
CSR
Global BAT
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Altria highlighted their COVID-19 CSR and general organisational plans in an Annual General Meeting
CSR
Global Altria
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 PMI highlighted their COVID-19 CSR and general organisational plans in an Annual General Meeting, including reported over $30 million in CSR donations
CSR
Global PMI
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 PMI donated 40,000 N95 face masks to the government
CSR
Costa Rica PMI
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Donated $82,0000 worth of COVID-19 test kits to Indonesia
CSR
Indonesia South Korean Tobacco Company and KT&G
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Donated $90,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts in Kentucky, USA
CSR
USA Altria
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Donated over $150,000 to Turkish COVID-19 relief funds
CSR
Turkey JTI
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Donated over $650,000 to Turkish COVID-19 relief funds
CSR
Turkey PMI
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 PMI Sampoerna in Indonesia, where factory workers died from COVID-19, have been donating to local pandemic relief via an NGO: The Social Transformation and Public Awareness Foundation (STAPA) Center
CSR
Indonesia PMI Sampoerna
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 In Kentucky, Altria (aka Philip Morris USA) have donated $35,000 to community support group United Way, stating that “The funds are part of a $1 million commitment by Altria to address emergent needs in its headquarters community of Richmond, Virginia, and its other manufacturing and grower communities.”
CSR
USA Altria
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 Following accusations of exploiting the pandemic through CSR donations, both PMI and Imperial Tobacco have responded by saying they were asked to donate ventilators in Greece and Ukraine, that such donations are not a breach of the WHO FCTC (article 5.3 of the FCTC specifically addresses industry social responsibility) and that they are not promoting donations to the public, despite evidence to the contrary
CSR
Greece and Ukraine PMI and Imperial Tobacco
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 Bangalore public officials publicly thanked Indian Tobacco Company Limited (ITC) for their lockdown deliveries of ITC food products
CSR
India Indian Tobacco Company
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 South Korean tobacco company KT&G have donated a total of 7,600 COVID-19 diagnostic kits to Russia and Turkey
CSR
Russia and Turkey KT&G
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 Reemtsma, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, has paid for accommodation for 250 homeless people in Hamburg, Germany
CSR
Germany Imperial Tobacco subsidiary Reemtsma
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 JTI donated 150,000 USD worth of PPE supplies to schools and clinics
CSR
Zambia JTI
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 PMI has donated medical supplies to a hospital in Jalisco, Mexico, with government Trade and Health ministers present during the donation event
CSR
Mexico PMI
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 A report by The Niche Newspaper, Nigeria details the marketing and CSR campaigns by tobacco companies to take advantage of the pandemic and compares the tactic to industry behaviour during the Ebola epidemic
CSR
Nigeria Tobacco Industry
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 Academic research by Girvalaki et al. from the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention, details the industries CSR activity in Europe, describing it as a ‘trojan horse’, urging governments to uphold Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC
CSR
Europe Tobacco Industry
Jun 28, 2020 — Jul 10, 2020 WHO has launched a programme to help 1.3 billion people quit during COVID-19. The programme began in Jordan with donations of 37,800 nicotine patches from Johnson and Johnson
CSR
Jordan WHO and Johnson and Johnson
Jun 28, 2020 — Jul 10, 2020 PMI, along with 10 other partners including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the trade in fraudulent personal protective equipment for COVID-19. They cite their experience in combatting the illicit tobacco trade as reason for involvement. The industry, including PMI, has a history of profiting from tobacco smuggling and attempting to control tobacco track and trace programmes
CSR
Global PMI
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 In Zambia, a local leader has publicly thanked JTI for its recent donation of US$ 150,000
CSR
Zambia JTI
Aug 21, 2020 — Sep 21, 2020 A COVID-19 testing scheme in the Philippines is being partly funded by Universal Leaf , supplier of tobacco to PMI in the Philippines
CSR
Philippines Universal Leaf and PMI
Aug 21, 2020 — Sep 21, 2020 BAT is promoting its partnership with McLaren Racing by praising McLaren’s production of ventilators and medical supplies during COVID-19
CSR
Global BAT
Aug 21, 2020 — Sep 21, 2020 PMI stated that it has donated over US$30 million during the crisis
CSR
Global PMI
Sep 22, 2020 — Oct 26, 2020 In Egypt, PMI have reported donations of COVID-19 medical supplies worth roughly US$120,000
CSR
Egypt PMI
Sep 22, 2020 — Oct 26, 2020 Angolan tobacco manufacturer Barco Trading Company (Angola) and the Pan Africa Tobacco Group have been promoting their COVID-19 CSR conducted in collaboration with Angolan authorities
CSR
Angola Barco Trading Company and Pan Africa Tobacco Group
Sep 22, 2020 — Oct 26, 2020 A PMI funded COVID-19 field hospital in Brazil has closed due to a lack of use
CSR
Brazil PMI
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 PMI Vietnam have said they champion female leadership in the company during COVID-19
CSR
Vietnam PMI
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 Shehzad Munim, Managing Director of BAT Bangladesh, has promoted the company in a local newspaper interview, saying they protected workers jobs and maintained cigarette supply to customers
CSR
Bangladesh BAT
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 PMI continue to use the pandemic as a greenwashing opportunity, taking part in the Asia Sustainability Conference to discuss improving air quality and cutting down carbon emissions. PMI’s Head of Environmental Sustainability spoke about the company’s commitment to climate action, inspired by the pandemic, saying that PMI aims to make all its factories carbon neutral by 2030
CSR
Global PMI
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 At the 35th General Meeting of the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) online event its president highlighted the importance of partnerships with tobacco companies for the sustainability of the tobacco sector and the protection of the supply chain (especially given the global pandemic). Representative from JTI and BAT took part in the event
CSR
Global BAT, JTI and ITGA
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 According to a major Greek news company, the Greek Government approached the "big tobacco industry" asking for donations to cover the lack of 5 millon needles and other consumables related to the COVID vaccine
CSR
Greece Government and Tobacco Industry
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 BAT Bangladesh was awarded the Supply Chain Collaboration and Partnering award at the Bangladesh Supply Chain Excellence Awards 2020 for their pandemic crisis projects aimed at enhancing tobacco farmers livelihood, loss analysis of distributers and suppliers, and partnering with the government for capacity building
CSR
Bangladesh BAT
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 Imperial Tobacco Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BAT, in response to the ongoing province-wide shut down in Québec sent out “wellness boxes” to employees and has organised “Meal Prep Mondays” and “Wellness Wednesdays” to provide support for employees working from home. Imperial Tobacco Canada has been recognised as one of Montreal’s Top Employers in 2021
CSR
Canada BAT subsidiary Imperial Tobacco Canada
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 The state-owned tobacco enterprise Libanaise Des Tabacs Et Tombacs (Regie) provided respiratory assist devices to its employees, and their dependents, infected with COVID
CSR
Lebanon Regie
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 BAT gave a presentation on its preliminary results for 2020 stating it was “supporting communities with testing equipment, 3D printers, & medical & hygiene equipment” and “partnering with leaf growing communities to support water supply and sanitation” through the pandemic
CSR
Global BAT
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 BAT has warned of a combined 7% drop in sales volume of cigarette and heated tobacco products in response to COVID-19. The company highlighted strict lockdown measures in Mexico, Argentina and South Africa as being particularly damaging to business alongside reduced sales in airports
Tobacco Business
Global BAT
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 Industry profits in emerging cigarette markets have been particularly affected by the pandemic, such as in Bangladesh and Vietnam
Tobacco Business
Bangladesh and Vietnam Tobacco Industry
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 These findings mirror fears about declines in sales including duty free sales reported by PMI at its AGM and predictions made about the potential impact of the pandemic on PMI/the tobacco industry
Tobacco Business
Global PMI
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 The global Heated Tobacco Products market is predicted to grow despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with positive impacts for the major tobacco companies. Analysis from market.us suggests that “aggressively promoting” HTP products as low risk is proving a successful strategy during the pandemic period
Tobacco Business
Global Tobacco Industry
Jun 28, 2020 — Jul 10, 2020 In the USA, the Federal Reserve bought $428 million in corporate bonds from companies including PMI as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan
Tobacco Business
USA PMI and Federal Reserve
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 BAT stocks have been performing very well, with a report saying “the pandemic hasn’t made much if any difference.”
Tobacco Business
Global BAT
Aug 21, 2020 — Sep 21, 2020 BAT sales are up 22% in Zimbabwe, compared to this time last year, despite 3% drop in sales volume and economic struggles for the country and Zimbabwean tobacco farmers
Tobacco Business
Zimbabwe BAT
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 BAT has reported reduced profits due to COVID-19. In Malaysia profits dropped by 23% in the third quarter of 2020, compared to last year. BAT blamed COVID-19 and illicit tobacco trade.
Tobacco Business
Malaysia BAT
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 In Zimbabwe, BAT reported an 8% decline in sales compared to September 2019
Tobacco Business
Zimbabwe BAT
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 After the tobacco ban was lifted in South Africa in August 2020, research found the market share of BAT, JTI and PMI tobacco manufacturers had fallen
Tobacco Business
South Africa BAT, JTI and PMI
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 According to officials of Tax Justice South Africa (TJSA), there were six tobacco brands that saw sales soar past the ‘one-million-per-day’ mark during the ban
Tobacco Business
South Africa Tobacco Industry
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 Tobacco companies including PMI, JTI, Imperial Brands and Altria Group all raised their sales or profit targets, saying the industry had done better than expected in 2020 mostly in US and EU
Tobacco Business
USA and Europe PMI, JTI, Imperial Brands, Altria
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 BAT has boosted its revenue outlook for 2020 after COVID-19 had a smaller than expected hit on cigarette demand globally
Tobacco Business
Global BAT
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 Imperial tobacco reported an increase in revenue from cigarettes due to increased smoking rates during the pandemic
Tobacco Business
Global Imperial Brands
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 The COVID pandemic has been blamed for a 25% drop in cigarette sales in Mexico by BAT executive. The article does not quote official public health sources and promotes IQOS products
Tobacco Business
Mexico BAT
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 Data released by the Ministry of Finance shows tobacco sales fell by a third in the Spanish Balearic Islands due to the State of Emergency and drop in tourists
Tobacco Business
Spain Tobacco Industry
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 BATSA has stated its sales have rebounded following the lifting of restrictions in August from the South African five-month tobacco ban
Tobacco Business
South Africa BAT
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 In the UK, cigarette sales increased by 7% to £12.4bn during lockdown, despite an estimated 1m people quitting smoking
Tobacco Business
UK Tobacco Industry
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 BAT Malaysia’s managing director Johnathon Reed has said the company’s performance continues to be undermined by high illicit cigarette volumes and a growth of the illicit vaping market
Tobacco Business
Malaysia BAT
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 PMI used the pandemic to push its heated tobacco product, IQOS, partnering with a delivery app to get the product to people in lockdown
Brand Marketing
Russia PMI
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids have been investigating and reporting instances of tobacco companies using the lockdown and stay at home advice to promote their brands on social media
Brand Marketing
Global CTFK
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 BAT’s Glo face masks worn by influencers on social media in Kazakhstan
Brand Marketing
Kazakhstan BAT
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 CTFK reports that PMI has referred to COVID-19 on social media to promote special offers and home delivery on its vape products “in at least 18 countries (Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and Ukraine)”.
Brand Marketing
Global PMI
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 A report was published on how “The tobacco industry takes advantage of a pandemic despite selling a product that aggravated COVID-19”, which details PMI and BAT social media campaigns promoting deals and free trials on their vape products
Brand Marketing
Mexico BAT and PMI
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project published its Pandering to a Pandemic report which details PMI’s attempts to use the pandemic as a marketing opportunity for products like IQOS, employing social media promotion and CSR
Brand Marketing
Global OCCRP and PMI
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 Ethos, a Mexican think tank, published this report on tobacco company marketing during COVID-19, including illegal 80% discounts on products and the industries involvement in the science of COVID-19 and smoking
Brand Marketing
Mexico Ethos
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 PMFTC (Philippine affiliate of PMI) is using the pandemic to pursue business transformation and provide smokers with non-combustible alternatives through the ‘Unsmoke Pilipinas’ campaign, launched in July 2019
Brand Marketing
Philippines PMI
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 A group of U.S. lawmakers sent letters to BAT and PMI alleging they attempted to “profit off the back of a global health crisis”. The letter states tobacco companies promoted their products during COVID-19 on social media platforms popular with young adults by offering free gifts like hand sanitiser, toilet paper and masks. Some ads pitched nicotine products as good for stress relief during Covid-19
Brand Marketing
Global BAT and PMI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 The industry has used the pandemic as a chance to criticise public health organisations such as the WHO, often through third parties
Policy Interference
Global Tobacco Industry
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 WHO has in turn cautioned governments against working with Big Tobacco
Policy Interference
Global WHO
Sep 22, 2020 — Oct 26, 2020 Japan Tobacco International (JTI) executives speaking at the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum have said illicit tobacco trade in Europe has increased during the pandemic and argued against higher tobacco taxes in Russia, claiming that tax increases encourage smuggling. The data comes from “field reports” conducted by JTI themselves
Policy Interference
Europe and Russia JTI
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Called for vape shops to remain open
Lobbying
UK UKVIA
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 PMI and other industry funding has been linked to much of the pro-vaping pandemic response, with particular criticism from the industry and its allies levelled at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Professor Stanton Glantz of the Center for Tobacco Research Control & Education at UCSF
Lobbying
USA PMI
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 The tobacco control group, PROGGA in Bangladesh has reported tobacco companies successfully lobbying the Ministry of Industries to reject a suggested tobacco ban proposed by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry. The Ministry of Industries had initially agreed to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry request that companies suspend tobacco production during the pandemic
Lobbying
Bangladesh PROGGA
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 In St. Petersburg, Russia, PMI, BAT and JTI have resumed production after lobbying Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, to include tobacco on the list of essential items during lockdown
Lobbying
Russia BAT, JTI and PMI
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 In the United Arab Emirates, the Federal Tax Authority has delayed bans on water pipe, tobacco and e-cigarettes without digital tax stamps to 2021 in response to stakeholder pressure citing COVID-19
Lobbying
UAE Federal Tax Authority
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 The decision to ease COVID-19 restrictions on tobacco waterpipe use by the Minister for Tourism and reportedly encouraged by the hospitality sector has been met by disagreement and a petition against the decision signed by doctors, lawyers and other professionals
Lobbying
Lebanon Government
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 BAT Bangladesh has been lobbying government agencies to prevent pandemic related regulation during COVID-19
Lobbying
Bangladesh BAT
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Tobacco control advocates have called on the President to impose tobacco product restrictions in response to the pandemic, asking ask for a restriction on industry donations and an increase in tobacco tax and prices
Regulation
Indonesia Tobacco Control Advocates
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Tobacco was listed as ‘essential’ and the New Zealand Imperial factory remains open
Regulation
New Zealand Imperial
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Some Indian states have banned chewing and spitting tobacco, backed up by harsh jail sentences. The sale of tobacco has also been banned nationally
Regulation
India Government
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 Russia halted tobacco manufacturing. This prompted lobbying from the big four tobacco companies, arguing that it would lead to a growth in illicit trade
Regulation
Russia Government
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 PMI maintained cigarette production in Brazil (Santa Cruz do Sol), to avoid “compromising the business”, despite a decree banning non-essential industrial manufacture
Regulation
Brazil PMI
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 Tobacco manufacture has been halted. The Finance Secretary said he would not relax restrictions on tobacco and alcohol sales during lockdown, after it was suggested that the government was missing out on sin tax revenue due to reduced sales
Regulation
Philippines Tobacco Industry
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Following BAT’s cessation of legal action, The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) has paused court proceedings against the South African government
Regulation
South Africa BAT and FITA
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 JTI has joined other industry members in urging the government to reconsider its tobacco ban
Regulation
South Africa JTI
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 In the USA, in response to the Stanford e-cigarette study, lawmakers have urged the FDA to consider a temporary ban on e-cigarettes during the pandemic
Regulation
USA FDA
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 Spain has banned smoking in public spaces where social distancing is not possible. These measure were initially put in place in Galicia and the Canary Islands and then applied nation-wide. Industry representatives ‘Mesa del Tabaco’, have come out against the restrictions, citing lack of evidence of its effectiveness
Regulation
Spain Government
Aug 21, 2020 — Sep 21, 2020 In Bhutan, a ban on tobacco products that was first introduced in 2010 has been lifted “to temper demand for smuggled cigarettes”.
Regulation
Bhutan Government
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 Turkey has introduced a ban on smoking in many outdoor public spaces in response to the pandemic. They cite damage to health and crowding together of smokers with no masks as reasons for the ban
Regulation
Turkey Government
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 North Korea has announced a similar ban on smoking in public “keeping in mind the hygiene of people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.” The country has not officially reported any COVID-19 deaths
Regulation
North Korea Government
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 The Tax Justice South Africa (TJSA) stated that South Africa lost over R5bn in taxes
Regulation
South Africa Government
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 The outdoor smoking ban in Mallorca was relaxed in December 2020, but smokers will have to keep 2m social distancing rule. The smoking ban in hotels, restaurants and bars remains in place
Regulation
Spain Government
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 The Assam Government in India has extended their tobacco ban for another year in response to COVID-19
Regulation
India Government
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 Dartmouth College in the U.S announced a campus-wide ban on use of tobacco and vaping products in both indoor and outdoor spaces. The College President cited “growing evidence” of the link between tobacco use and a variety of life-threatening diseases, such as COVID-19, as one reason the policy was implemented
Regulation
USA Dartmouth College
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 A National Income Dynamics Study in South Africa has shown that the government lost R5.8bn in tobacco excise taxes during the 20-week ban period
Regulation
South Africa Government
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 Chhattisgarh state in India has made a legal amendment to the 2004 Kopta Act and banned tobacco consumption for youth under 21 years old
Regulation
India Government
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 National government banned all tobacco sales early in the crisis, with some local restrictions being lifted in response to lobbying from industry advocates and BAT, again using the ‘illicit’ argument
Regulation and Lobbying
South Africa BAT and Government
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 PMI successfully lobbied to reopen its factory, despite evidence of black-market tax avoidance and an initial restriction on tobacco sales
Regulation and Lobbying
Pakistan PMI
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Published a letter in local newspapers calling for their factories to reopen. Restrictions were lifted on May 10 and the company claimed it could restock the nation within one week
Regulation and Lobbying
Argentina PMI subsidiary Massalin Particulares
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 42 associations sent a letter to the President of Indonesia urgently appealing to strengthen COVID-19 response by enforcing stronger tobacco control measures
Tobacco Control
Indonesia Tobacco Control Advocates
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 Lobbying the government to remove tobacco from the essential goods list
Tobacco Control
Kenya Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 An open letter was sent to the UN Secretary General signed by over 50 tobacco control groups highlighting the importance of the WHO FCTC and the need to challenge tobacco industry CSR and lobbying in response to tobacco bans
Tobacco Control
Global Tobacco Control Advocates
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 The government announced a continuation of the ban as they move in to ‘level 3 lockdown’, with the Minister of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, defending the decision in her response to the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association’s (FITA) application to suspend the ban
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa BAT and FITA
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 The FITA have said its legal challenge will be heard on the 9th and 10th June. BAT have announced they will be going to court to challenge the extension of the ban and are supported by JTI
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa BAT and FITA
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 The Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPSA) has also criticised the continued ban
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa VPSA
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 The court case challenging the controversial tobacco ban brought by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) against the government began on 9th June in Pretoria. Minister of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the ban was imposed to “protect human life and health and to reduce the potential strain on the health care system” and was informed by evidence indicating worse outcomes for smokers with COVID-19
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa FITA
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 There have been protests at the gates of parliament by those angry with the ban
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa FITA
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 The Guateng High Court in Pretoria dismissed the case brought by the Fair Trade Tobacco Association (FITA) against the tobacco ban. The ban remains in place
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa FITA
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 Judge Mlambo said that they were persuaded by Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s arguments that cigarettes are “plainly not food, cleaning and hygiene products, fuel and clearly not medical products. They would constitute ‘essential goods’ only if they could be considered ‘basic goods’ akin to airtime and electricity,” Dlamini Zuma argues that the ban was necessary to protect the health care system. FITA will appeal the decision
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa FITA
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 BAT South Africa is also going to court to challenge the ban, arguing that there have been negative economic impacts and an increase in illicit trade. BAT’s court date has been postponed from June 30 to August 5. BAT described the delay as “inexplicable” amid concerns that smokers will switch to cheaper brands if a recession hits
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa BAT
Jun 28, 2020 — Jul 10, 2020 Following the Pretoria High Court’s decision to uphold the South African government’s tobacco ban, the Fair Trade Tobacco Association (FITA) is seeking to appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Pretoria High Court will hear the appeal on July 15
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa FITA
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 BAT South Africa’s legal challenge was heard on August 5th, 2020. The company argued that the regulation was a restriction on consumer rights and free trade, whereas Dlamini-Zuma argued that they were protecting the healthcare system
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa BAT
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 The ban was lifted on August 17th, 2020 as lockdown entered ‘level 2'
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa Government
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 The FITA are continuing to pursue their Supreme Court appeal despite the ban now being lifted
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa FITA
Sep 22, 2020 — Oct 26, 2020 In South Africa, the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) said it would withdraw its legal case against the government if the government pledged that a tobacco sales ban will not return. Minister DlaminiZuma has said they cannot make this promise. However, the government has declared that any future COVID-19 related tobacco bans will include a public consultation
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa FITA
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 On 11 December 2020 the Western Cape High Court in South Africa ruled the tobacco sales ban during the COVID-19 lockdown was unconstitutional and unnecessary, after British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) took the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) to Court in May
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa BAT
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 The South African Government to appeal court ruling that tobacco ban was unconstitutional. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) has said the government’s appeal against the tobacco ban ruling may not lead to a further sales ban
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa Government
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 BATSA intend to oppose the government’s application for leave to appeal the recent High Court judgement which found the tobacco ban during COVID lockdown to be unnecessary
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa BAT
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 The South African High Court has granted Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs government minister, leave to appeal the adverse ruling on the tobacco ban which found it unconstitutional and invalid
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa Government
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 BATSA stated it was “disappointed, but not surprised” the government was granted leave to appeal the court ruling that the tobacco ban was unconstitutional. BATSA said the government should use the money it will spend on the appeal on fighting the COVID pandemic and illicit tobacco trade instead
Policy Interference and Regulation
South Africa BAT
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 FITA have accused the government of failing to consider the implications of such a ban and alongside pro-vape groups, claimed that the ban has bolstered the illicit cigarette trade in South Africa. Exaggeration of illicit trade numbers is a familiar industry tactic, however there has been independent reporting of some increased illicit trade in response to the ban
Policy Interference and Illicit Trade
South Africa FITA
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 Border patrols between South Africa and Zimbabwe have been increased to combat the rise in cigarette smuggling occurring across the border. Illicit trade expert, ex-South African Revenue Service lawyer, Telita Snyckers, has said “What seems to be the case is that 25% of the current illicit market during the lockdown is being supplied by BAT (British American Tobacco),”. Historically the industry uses smuggling to supply restricted markets
Policy Interference and Illicit Trade
South Africa and Zimbabwe BAT
Aug 21, 2020 — Sep 21, 2020 Japan Tobacco International (JTI) is calling for “stiffer sanctions” against illicit tobacco trade in the Philippines. The company claims tobacco smuggling has increased during COVID-19. This may be a tactic to counter regulation damaging to the tobacco industry
Policy Interference and Illicit Trade
Philippines JTI
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 JTI Malaysia has said tax increases on tobacco products should not happen for at least 2 years, arguing that higher tax will increase the illicit trade in cigarettes. JTI used a similar argument in the Philippines, saying that smuggling has increased during COVID-19. JTI representatives were present at the destruction of smuggled cigarettes at a Filipino port alongside local officials. Historically, JTI themselves have been involved in tobacco smuggling operations
Policy Interference and Illicit Trade
Malaysia and Philippines JTI
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) has warned the government that the 8% double inflation increase in tobacco excise tax is a “dangerous mistake” given the growing illicit tobacco trade. The South African Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA) also argued that illegal tobacco traders will profit from this increase in excise tax
Policy Interference and Illicit Trade
South Africa BAT and South African Tobacco Transformation Alliance
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 Two workers at the PMI Sampoerna factory have died of COVID-19. Manufacturing has been suspended and other workers quarantined
Tobacco Workers
Indonesia PMI Sampoerna
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 Tobacco workers unions have called to postpone the tobacco marketing season to avoid putting workers at risk of infection
Tobacco Workers
Zimbabwe Tobacco Worker Unions
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 500 staff from PMI’s Sampoerna factory were placed under quarantine following the deaths of two tobacco workers and the positive testing of a further 63. Health authorities have recalled cigarettes produced in the factory
Tobacco Workers
Indonesia PMI Sampoerna
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 Continued production at the Pakistan Tobacco Company factory has resulted in 89 positive COVID-19 cases
Tobacco Workers
Pakistan BAT subsidiary Pakistan Tobacco Company
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 STOP, ASH US and GGTC have all spoken out on the risk to tobacco workers during the pandemic, as reported in an article that summarises cases of worker COVID-19 exposure in Pakistan and internationally
Tobacco Workers
Global Tobacco Control Advocates
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 51 workers in South Korean tobacco company KT&G’s Indonesian factory tested positive for COVID-19
Tobacco Workers
Indonesia KT&G
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 In Malawi, tobacco farmers say their earnings have fallen because they are not allowed to attend auctions and negotiate prices due to COVID-19 restrictions. The farmers associations that represent them at auction disagree, saying they operate fairly. Tobacco is a major cash crop in Malawi. The industry has a history of pushing a narrative of support for farmers whilst in reality farmers remain impoverished
Tobacco Workers
Malawi Tobacco Worker Unions
Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 27, 2020 The Tobacco Free Association of Zambia investigated farming practices at farms supplying Japan Tobacco International and found dangerous practices, with a lack of COVID-19 precautions and children exposed to dangerous pesticides and green tobacco. This investigation was reported on by STOP, highlighting that JTI has tried to improve its public image during the pandemic via CSR donations. Subsequent outreach to media in Zambia has resulted in stories countering JTI’s CSR narrative
Tobacco Workers
Zambia JTI
Jun 28, 2020 — Jul 10, 2020 In Andhra Pradesh, India, the State government is buying tobacco straight from farmers to support them as they suffer delays in auctions and reduced prices during COVID-19
Tobacco Workers
India State Government
Sep 22, 2020 — Oct 26, 2020 In the Philippines the National Tobacco Administration has called for cigarette manufacturers to increase their buying of local tobacco over foreign growers “to boost the industry and benefit local growers amid the pandemic.” JTI have said they will increase local purchases
Tobacco Workers
Philippines JTI
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 Vietnam Tobacco Corporation released PR campaign promoting the work they have done throughout 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID and ensure production and stability of jobs for their employees
Tobacco Workers
Vietnam Vietnam Tobacco Corporation
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 BAT gave a presentation on its preliminary results for 2020 stating they had ensured “COVID-secure workplace measures in all markets” and that “no employees [were] made redundant or furloughed due to COVID crisis”
Tobacco Workers
Global BAT
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 BAT (through its subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing) are involved in coronavirus vaccine development, using tobacco plants as viral particle ‘factories'
Vaccine Development
USA BAT
Mar 20, 2020 — Apr 16, 2020 PMI (40% share in Medicago) are involved in coronavirus vaccine development, using tobacco plants as viral particle ‘factories'
Vaccine Development
Canada PMI
Apr 17, 2020 — May 1, 2020 BAT’s Kentucky BioProcessing moves to animal testing of vaccine
Vaccine Development
USA BAT
May 1, 2020 — May 15, 2020 BAT’s Kentucky BioProcessing say it is ready for human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccine Development
USA BAT
May 15, 2020 — May 29, 2020 BAT General Manager, Felicio Ferraz, says Kentucky BioProcessing have submitted a Pre-Investigative New Drug package to the US FDA and highlights BAT’s CSR donations in the UK, Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh and USA
Vaccine Development
USA BAT
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 Biotech company Medicago, who are 40% PMI owned, announced positive results from animal trials of their COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccine Development
Canada PMI
May 30, 2020 — Jun 12, 2020 BAT’s Kentucky BioProcessing is looking to governments for support in terms of drug approval and manufacture for their vaccine development programme
Vaccine Development
USA BAT
Jun 28, 2020 — Jul 10, 2020 Pharmaceutical company GSK has partnered with 40% PMI owned Medicago to assist in producing Medicago’s plant synthesised COVID-19 vaccine. GSK is aiming to make the vaccine available in the first half of 2021. PMI is now “evaluat[ing] offers for its shareholding from parties that may be better suited to help Medicago on the next phase of its journey” according to a statement on the Medicago website
Vaccine Development
Canada PMI
Jul 11, 2020 — Aug 20, 2020 BAT announced they applied for FDA approval for their Kentucky BioProcessing COVID-19 vaccine in July, and human trials may begin within weeks
Vaccine Development
USA BAT
Aug 21, 2020 — Sep 21, 2020 A Thai COVID-19 vaccine synthesised using tobacco plants has proved successful in animal trials. This programme is not related to the tobacco industry, but the research may be of interest to tobacco companies
Vaccine Development
Thailand University Research
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 The Canadian government announced a CAD$173 million investment to secure 76 million doses of Medicago’s COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to induce an immune response in early human trials
Vaccine Development
Canada Government
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 PMI (one third owner of Medicago) used the announcement for promotional purposes via their website, where PMI CEO André Calantzopoulos said: “We welcome the collaboration announced between two departments of the Canadian government and Medicago to accelerate its efforts against COVID-19.”
Vaccine Development
Canada PMI
Oct 27, 2020 — Nov 24, 2020 PMI’s involvement in the vaccine was reported widely, including in Romania, Nigeria, Malaysia, Switzerland and Indonesia
Vaccine Development
Canada PMI
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 PMI’s CEO Calantzopoulos was part of an AmericanHellenic Chamber of Commerce roundtable discussion on the COVID-19 vaccine alongside the Greek Prime Minister, Pfizer CEO and Deloitte CEO
Vaccine Development
Greece and USA PMI
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 PMI and the Government of Canada are collaborating on vaccine development. The Canadian government has stated it is investing US$130million in the Medicago vaccine (PMI owns one third of Medicago)
Vaccine Development
Canada PMI
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 BAT’s COVID vaccine candidate has got U.S. approval for human trials. The COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by the company’s biotech arm Kentucky BioProcessing
Vaccine Development
USA BAT
Nov 25, 2020 — Jan 25, 2021 State Officials from the U.S. state of New Jersey say smokers should be a priority to receive the COVID vaccine
Vaccine Development
USA State Officials
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 French pro-tobacco website lemondedutabac.com published an article stating the Spanish Ministry of Health has concluded an agreement with Logista for the distribution of the COVID vaccine to Spain's autonomous communities. Logista is a “fully consolidated subsidiary” of Imperial Brands, according to the group's most recent annual report, that delivers tobacco and non-tobacco products
Vaccine Development
Spain Imperial Brands subsidiary Logista
Jan 26, 2021 — Mar 25, 2021 The chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) in Sri Lanka has said giving a COVID vaccine to individuals who are addicted to tobacco is “not effective” as smoking impairs their immunity
Vaccine Development
Sri Lanka National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol

 

STOP COVID-19 Tobacco Industry Monitoring Briefs

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 1, 23 April 2020

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 2, 06 May 2020

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 3, 20 May 2020

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 4, 04 June 2020

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 5, 18 June 2020

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 6, 01 July 2020

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 7, 16 July 2020

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 8, August 2020 – Focus on South Africa’s tobacco ban

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 9, September 2020 – Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 10, October 2020 – Focus on Tobacco Industry and a COVID-19 Vaccine

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 11, November 2020
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STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 12, January 2021
عربى    Español    Français 

STOP COVID-19 Monitoring brief: Edition 13, March 2021
عربى    Español    Français 

Relevant Tobacco Tactics resources

Additional STOP resources

From the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control

 

References

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