Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire #02

Other | Tuesday 9th February 2016 | Felix


Here at Guestlist there are plenty of us who enjoy a smoke, but big tobacco are the only profiteers from this habit of slowly killing ourselves. Each month we look at the shady shit got up to by tobacco companies since our last issue.


1. British American Tobacco accused of bribing politicians across Africa.


The US Department of Justice has accused BAT of paying people off to cover up scandals and protect their reputation in Africa - claims include environmental damage from a warehouse fire in Uganda and sabotage of competitors in Kenya. The number of adult smokers on the continent is expected to rise from 77 million (in 2013) to 572 million by the end of the century, so represents a huge amount of profit for the tobacco giant.



2. Imperial Tobacco - a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Imperial Tobacco (the world’s fourth largest tobacco company) has made a very subtle name change to Imperial Brands. This might not seem like a big deal, but the tobacco industry has a long history of psychological advertising - this could be another trick up Imperial’s sleeve in distancing themselves from their deadly product.



3. More secrecy with the European Union.


The European Commision has said that it will ignore ‘voluntary guidelines’ and will not publicise the details of official meetings with the tobacco industry. The close relationship has grown very suspicious in recent years, with former senior EU staff leaving to become tobacco lobbyists and a Health commissioner fired for misconduct.