Does the COVID-19 pandemic provide an opportunity to eliminate the tobacco industry?

October 26, 2020 Authors: John P A Ioannidis and Prabhat JhaThe Lancet Tobacco use is the top modifiable global health problem, but the global tobacco market grows 3% annually. Most anti-tobacco measures to date target demand (eg, higher excise taxes). However, the endgame might require reducing supply. The main counterarguments are financial (eg, economic damage […]

The Role of the WHO FCTC in COVID-19 Responses

November, 2020 Executive Summary Tobacco use carries risk of COVID-19 transmission and leads to worse health outcomes for COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 also endangers those with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) for which smoking is a major risk factor. Life-saving tobacco control measures that urge smokers to quit would not only address the tobacco epidemic, but also reduce […]

Tobacco Industry Accountability and Liability in the Time of COVID-19

November 2020 Summary The tobacco industry must be held to account for health care costs, compensation to victims, corruption, illicit trade, environmental damage, food insecurity, child labor, and more. Under the global tobacco control treaty, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), governments are called on to adopt stronger tobacco control […]

Return to Sender: Rejecting PMI Ukraine’s Charity During COVID-19 (2020)

Although sponsorship activities by tobacco companies are banned in Ukraine, Philip Morris International (PM) found a way to donate funds to the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, PMI Ukraine donated 10 million UAH (372,577 USD) to the Charity Fund Health for All to help fight the pandemic according to a report by American […]

Covid-19 crisis sparks new call in Scotland for tobacco levy

May 3, 2020 Scotland’s leading anti-smoking charity is backing calls for a minimum unit price (MUP) on tobacco after scientists said “now is the time” to tackle the largest preventable cause of chronic disease. Read more: The Sunday Times

Suggestion that smoking protects from COVID-19 may be dangerous to public health

May 11, 2020 A new pandemic generates anxiety and confusion and drives people to seek remedies that may have little scientific evidence of efficacy. Based upon a flawed interpretation of preliminary COVID-19 data, the hypothesis that cigarette smoking protects one from coronavirus has emerged. Some have taken these incorrect findings to an extreme, as in France, […]

Letter to the Delegates of the 73rd World Health Assembly (2020)

15 May 2020Delegates of the 73rd World Health AssemblyUnited Nations HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland To the Distinguished Delegates of the Seventy-third World Health Assembly: On behalf of civil societies working in tobacco control, we express our highest regard for your commitment and solidarity in addressing global health governance during a tremendously difficult time. We welcome the WHA draft […]

WHO statement: Tobacco use and COVID-19

May 11, 2020 Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Read more: World Health Organization

COVID-19: For the tobacco industry, it’s all about profit

May 11, 2020 In times of crisis some corporations profit while others break. For the tobacco industry the COVID-19 pandemic which has shut down many nations and crippled the global economy seems “a make or break opportunity”. Read more: EnviroNews Nigeria

The two faces of the tobacco industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

May 10, 2020 Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, the world’s major tobacco companies have geared their CSR efforts to present themselves as allies of public health in the fight against the virus. For example, in Georgia on 23-26 March British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris […]