Globally Reported Tobacco Industry Interference during COVID-19 Pandemic

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Contents

Background

COVID-19, caused by a novel coronavirus, was first reported in Wuhan, Hubei province in China, on 31 December 2019. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally declared it as a pandemic.[1]

COVID-19 mortality

As of 12th July 2020, the reported global number of COVID-19 confirmed cases was 13,033,817 with 571,250 deaths reported. Highest number of cases was reported from the United States of America (3,413,995) and Brazil ranked second reporting 1,866,176 cases. The highest number of deaths were also reported from the US (137,782).[2]Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) was calculated by Deaths / Cases and the rate was reported as 1.4%.[3]

Contribution of Tobacco to COVID-19 mortality

World Health Organization(WHO) declared that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.[4]COVID-19 virus normally plugs into the ACE2 receptors on the surface of the cells to inject its genetic material into the cells, in order to replicate and spread. Scientific research suggests that lungs exposed to cigarette smoke have a higher possibility in accumulating abnormally large numbers of ACE2 receptors, which could potentially make the organ more vulnerable to damage by the coronavirus.[5]Tobacco is also a major risk factor for non communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes. For people with these conditions, there is a higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19.[1]

Recent studies have shown that smoking is associated with a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.[6] A study has reported that in Italy, men had a higher risk in getting the disease than women which could be partly due to their higher smoking rates.[7] An analysis done by the University of California, San Francisco that included 11,590 COVID patients revealed that among the people affected by the virus, the risk of disease progression in those who currently smoke or previously smoked was nearly double that of non-smokers.[8][9] In another study conducted in China with a sample of 1,099 patients, it was found that among the patients with severe symptoms, 16.9% were current smokers and 5.2% were former smokers. Among the patients that needed either mechanical ventilation, or admission to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and among those who died, 25.5% were current smokers and 7.6% were former smokers.[10]

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Activities of Tobacco Industry

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the World Health Organization global convention on tobacco control, Articles 13 and 5.3 recommend to ban sponsorships, CSR activities and interactions with the tobacco industry.

Summary of TII and activities reported during COVID-19 pandemic

This post intends to summarise tobacco industry CSR and other activities and interference reported globally during the COVID-19 pandemic on weekly basis starting from the date the pandemic was declared. The post will be updated every Wednesday of the following week.

Table 1: Summary of reported TII during COVID-19 Pandemic

Tobacco Company Reported Countries Number of Incidents
British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh, Croatia, Mexico, Nigeria, Honduras, Russia, Malaysia, Zimbabwe 61
Philip Morris International (PMI) Brazil, Costa Rica, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Philippines, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia, Russia 32
Japan Tobacco International (JTI) United Kingdom (UK), Bangladesh, Turkey, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Zambia 26
Altria group United Sates of America (USA) 22
Imperial Tobacco Russia 14
ITC Limited India India 12
Reynolds American United Sates of America (USA) 7
VMR Products United Sates of America (USA) 1
Korea Tobacco Ginseng Corporation (KT&G) Indonesia, Turkey, Russia 6
Godfrey Phillips India India 3
Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) Sri Lanka 2
DJarum Indonesia 2
PT HM Sampoerna Indonesia 1
Hongyunhonghe Tobacco (Group) - 2
7 HILLS Manikchand Products Private Limited India 1
Deccan Tobacco India 1
Vinataba Tobacco Company Vietnam 1
International Tobacco Company Nigeria 1
LT Group Philippines 1
China Tobacco China 1
Gamucci United Kingdom, United States of America (USA), Asia and Africa 1
Barco Trading Company Angola 1
Pan Africa Tobacco Group Angola 1
Company not specified or interference via Front Groups United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Malaysia, Australia, Lebanon, Senegal, Sri Lanka, France, Myanmar, India, Chile, South Africa, Kenya, Bhutan 33

Week 1: 12th to 22nd March 2020

Week 2: 23rd to 29th March 2020

  • Philip Morris International (PMI) donated ventilators to Greek Hospitals.[12]
  • In Brazil Philip Morris International (PMI) made donations to the Santa Cruz hospitals.[13]
  • Philip Morris Georgia made a monetary donation to the special fund established by the Business Association of Georgia.[14]
  • ITC Limited India donated money for the COVID contingency fund.[15]
  • Philip Morris International (PMI) donated respirators to hospitals in Greece.[16]
  • In Honduras British American Tobacco (BAT) donated masks to the Police.[17]
  • In Sri Lanka, online delivery of cigarettes was advertised via Facebook (Image 1).[18]
Image 1: Online sales of cigarettes in Sri Lanka advertised via Facebook[18]
  • In Myanmar Traditional Cheroot (A filter less cylindrical cigar with both ends clipped) Producers Association donated money to the National Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).[19]
  • In Romania Philip Morris International (PMI) donated money to the Red Cross.[20]

Week 3: 30th March to 5th April 2020

  • British American Tobacco (BAT) announced their attempt to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.[21]
  • A non-peer reviewed preprint publication by a French scientist suggested a protective effect of Nicotine over COVID-19.[22]The Lead author Pierre Changeux, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the Institute Pasteur had a history of funding from the tobacco industry.[23]
  • In Nigeria International Tobacco Company donated hand sanitisers and face masks to the government.[24]
  • In Philippines LT Group, a company involved in tobacco and alcohol trade donated face masks to Cavite hospital.[25]
  • In Bulgaria Philip Morris Bulgaria donated money to purchase medical supplies and protective gear to the hospitals.[26]
  • In Greece, Philip Morris International (PMI) donated ventilators to the government.[27]
  • Deccan Tobacco donated money to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in Andra Pradesh.[28]
  • ITC Limited India health Hygiene brand, Savlon, sponsored Kerala government’s COVID-19 awareness programmes and hand washing booths.[29][30]
  • ITC Limited India delivered their food brands to homes in India in collaboration with nongovernmental organisations Child Rights and You (CRY) and SOS Children’s Villages in India.[31]According to the media reports, the supplies were delivered to the children and the elderly through its “Aashirvaad Box of Hope” and “Sunfeast Box of Happiness”.
  • In Philippines, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp Inc.’s (PMFTC), (a joint-venture between Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. and Fortune Tobacco Corporation) donated ventilators to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center.[32]The Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone, through his Facebook account, thanked Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp Inc (PMFTC) for its donation.[33]
  • In South Africa Johann Rupert, the CEO and a major shareholder in British American Tobacco (BAT), donated money to the COVID-19 funds.[34][35]
  • Philip Morris Ukraine donated money to COVID-19 funds.[36]
  • In Bangladesh, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) requested permission from the Ministry of Industries to continue manufacturing and trading tobacco and related products.[37]

Week 4: 6th to 12th April 2020

  • Jelimals, a jelly bear (confectionary) brand owned by the ITC Limited India, conducted awareness programmes targeting children.[38][39][40][41][42][43]
  • ITC Limited India’s Paperboards & Specialty Papers Business (PSPD) donated funds to the government fund and, also, to low income populations.[44][45].[46]
  • ITC WOW (Wellbeing out of Waste) team (a waste management programme initiated by ITC Limited India) distributed masks and food packs to families and, also, to shelterless people. They also supplied sanitisers to public health workers and food packs to Police and medical personnel.[46]
  • 7 HILLS Manikchand Products Private Limited, the manufacturer of Manikchand pan masala, claiming it to be tobacco free, published advertisements on COVID-19 in newspapers (Image 2).[47]
Image 2: A newspaper advertisement by Manikchand[47]
  • Chief minister of West Bengal Exempted Beedi Industry from Lockdown (Image 3)[48].
Image 3: A newspaper clipping from West Bengal on exemption of bidi industry from lockdown restrictions[48]
  • In Indonesia, Philip Morris International (PMI) donated an Ambulance to Indonesian Red Cross.[49]
  • Japan Tobacco International (JTI) in Malaysia raised money for COVID-19 funds.[50]
  • In Philippines Japan Tobacco International (JTI) donated face masks to the front liners.[51]

Week 5: 13th to 19th April 2020

  • Phillip Morris International (PMI) tried to indicate that smoking and vaping has no association with increased risks for COVID-19 (Image 4).[52]
Image 4: Phillip Morris International (PMI) tried to indicate that smoking and vaping has no association with increased risk for COVID-19.[52]
  • In Italy, Philip Morris International (PMI) donated meals for the Zola Predosa Food Bank, hand sanitisers, personal protective equipment and money for COVID-19 control activities.[53]
  • Vinataba Tobacco Company in Vietnam donated money and equipment to the Vietnam Heart Institute at Bach Mai Hospital.[54]
  • Japan Tobacco International (JTI) donated money to a hardship fund for independent retailers in the United Kingdom.[55]
  • Certain Malaysian media agencies criticised the World Health Organization (WHO)’s statement on COVID-19 and smoking.[56]
  • In Australia, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s position on vaping was criticised by certain media agencies.[57]
  • A regional governor in Nigeria requested pandemic donations from British American Tobacco (BAT).[58]
  • British American Tobacco Kenya donated sanitisers to various government agencies and the Council of Governors.[59]
  • In Lebanon, Tobacco and Tobacco Counting Department donated money.[60]
  • Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp Inc.’s (PMFTC), a joint-venture between Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (PMPMI) and Fortune Tobacco Corporation (FTC), donated medical equipment and food items to medical health workers and military personnel.[61][62]
  • In Senegal, Mohamed Ould Bouamatou, a businessman involved in cigarette manufacturing, donated money to the government.[63]
  • In the United States, Altria and its subsidiary U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company donated money for COVID-19 funds.[64]
  • In Indonesia, Philip Morris International (PMI) Sampoerna, where COVID-19-related deaths occurred among factory workers, made donations to local pandemic relief via the nongovernmental organisation Social Transformation and Public Awareness Foundation (STAPA) Center.[65]
  • In Sri Lanka, Facebook advertisements were seen on cigarette retailers selling cigarettes online during the curfew (Image 5).[66]
Image 5: In Sri Lanka promoting cigarette products through Face Book Pages.[66]
  • A popular artist in Bangladesh made a public statement that smokers are less likely to be infected with COVID-19. The statement received wide positive media coverage.[67]
  • In Bangladesh, the marketing department of the Ministry of Agriculture provided special assistance to tobacco companies to maintain their supply chains smoothly by facilitating tobacco crop trading processes.[68]

Week 6: 20th to 26th April 2020

  • Tobacco industry representatives requested the European Union (EU) to postpone the upcoming deadline to stop menthol cigarette sales.[69]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh introduced a sanitiser (Image 6).[70]
Image 6: BAT Bangladesh introducing a hand sanitizer[70]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh declared that they moves to the next level of vaccine development by animal testing.[71]
  • In Zimbabwe, tobacco workers’ unions requested to postpone the tobacco marketing season to avoid putting workers at risk of infection.[72]

Week 7: 27th April to 3rd May 2020

Image 7:British American Tobacco threatens legal action over cigarette ban.[76]

Week 8: 4th to 10th May 2020

  • British American Tobacco (BAT) highlighted its Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) and COVID-19 work plan through an open letter to the public from Chief Executive Jack Bowles. It included activities in United Kingdom (UK), Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh and Croatia (Image 8).[85]
Image 8:British American Tobacco (BAT) highlighting it’s Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) and COVID-19 work plan through an open letter to the general public.[85]
  • South Korean tobacco company and Philip Morris International (PMI) partner Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corporation (KT&G) donated COVID-19 test kits to Indonesia.[86]
  • Group donated money to COVID-19 relief efforts in Kentucky, USA.[87]
  • Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and Philip Morris International (PMI) donated money to Turkish COVID-19 relief funds.[88]
  • Philip Morris International (PMI) donated meals in Italy.[89]
  • Philip Morris International (PMI) distributed hand sanitisers to health care companies and homes for the elderly in Italy.[90]
  • Reports alleged that several tobacco companies in Bangladesh bought tobacco from farmers without ensuring hygiene and social distance.[91]

Week 9: 11th to 17th May2020

  • Altria Group highlighted their COVID-19 Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in the Annual General Meeting, which included a monetary donation to COVID-19 relief funds, donatiions of supplies and their employees donating money to support NGO front liners.[92]
  • In Costa Rica, Philip Morris International (PMI) donated N95 face masks to the government.[93]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT)’s Kentucky Bio Processing declared that they are ready for human trials of their COVID-19 vaccine.[94]
  • A senior staff member from NOSMOKE Institute at Patras Science Park, Greece, who received research grants worth USD 105,985 from Foundation for smoke free world (FSFW), published a paper on COVID-19 and nicotine treatments.[95]
  • In Bangladesh, Abul Khayer Group which manufacture cigarettes and other tobacco products, supplied oxygen cylinders to the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID) Hospital and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and masks to government agencies including Chittagong Divisional Commissioner, Chittagong Deputy Commissioner and Police Commissioner.[96]
  • Home delivery of tobacco products by the Sri Lankan convenience store 24 Seven through the PickMe taxi and home delivery service (Image 9).[97]
Image 9: Home delivery of cigarettes in Sri Lank through Pick Me taxi service[97]

Week 10: 18th to 24th May 2020

Image 10: British American Tobacco (BAT) Georgia General Manager, Felicio Ferraz, announced about Kentucky Bio Processing submitting a Pre-investigative new drug package to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[100]
  • Bangladesh Ministry of Industries rejected the tobacco ban proposed by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry.[101]
  • ITC Limited India declared that they restarted their cigarette production as a “relief to the smokers” who are paying extra for cigarettes and, also, to “support the entire value chain” including the agricultural sector.[102]

Week 11: 25th to 31st May 2020

Image 11: British American Tobacco (BAT) files a law suit over the cigarette ban in South Africa.[104]
  • In the United Arab Emirates, The Federal Tax Authority, announces their intension to delay the ban on water pipe tobacco and e-cigarettes without digital tax stamps until January 2021, in response to “stakeholder pressure”.[105]
  • In Bangladesh, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) promoted their brands through phone calls.[106]
  • Home delivery of E-cigarette products in Bangladesh.[107]
  • (KT&G) donated COVID-19 diagnostic kits to the Russian state of Kaluga Oblast and the Turkish Ministry of Health.[108]

Week 12: 1st to 7th June 2020

Week 13: 8th to 14th June 2020

  • Philip Morris International (PMI) and Imperial Tobacco publicly criticised allegations against them on violation of FCTC in the means of Corperate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in Romania, Greece and Ukraine (Image 12).[111]
Image 12: Euronews reporting PMI and Imperial Tobacco’s attempted justification on their Coperate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in Romania, Greece and Ukraine.[111]

Week 14: 15th to 21st June 2020

Week 15: 22nd to 28th June 2020

Week 16: 29th June to 05th July 2020

  • The British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa (BATSA) stated that they would consider “other legal options” as the hearing on the cigarettes and vaping ban in South Africa was postponed by six weeks. This was in addition to the allegation made by the BATSA that the government deliberately delayed the trial date.[116]
  • A group of South African companies including [6], South African Agri Initiative(Saai), Fresh Stop, South African Tobacco,Twisp, CTP Unlimited, and British American Tobacco (BAT) signed an open letter addressed to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that the ban on cigarettes and other tobacco products be lifted for the sake of the economy and jobs.[117]

Week 17: 6th to 12th July 2020

Week 18: 13th to 19th July 9 2020

  • In the United States of America (USA) Philip Morris International (PMI) launched a campaign to raise awareness on fraudulent trade of personal protective equipment. It was partnered by ten other partners including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.[122]
  • In United Sates of America (USA), an engineering student from University of Louisville, Kentuky received positive media coverage for supporting COVID-19 projects of Kentucky Bio Processing (KBP), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT).[123]

Week 19: 20th to 26th July 9 2020

  • Technavio, a global market research firm, released a research report on “COVID-19 Impact & Recovery Analysis on Snus Market (2020-2024)”.[124]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa publicly complained that the South African Tobacco market is “completely taken over” by the illicit trade because of the COVID-19 related tobacco sales ban.[125]
  • In Chile, media articles stated that the demand for contraband cigarettes have increased due to the COVID-19 lockdown.[126]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh reported their Earnings Per Share (EPS) rose by 69% despite the COVID-19 pandemic.[127]
  • Cole Marketing, a marketing and advertising company, issued COVID-19 impact analysis reports for Heated Tobacco products, Electronic smoking system market, e-cigarette and vape market in relation to the major manufacturers including Morris International (PMI), British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Imperial Brands and Altria groups.[128][129][130]
  • Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa (BATSA), together with the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA) (a joint organisation of tobacco farming, processing and manufacturing industries), claimed that the South African tobacco ban is an “infringement of citizens’ rights” and argued that the prohibition will lead to a reduction in vital tax revenues and a rise in the illicit trade of tobacco products. The government responded to this statement as “hypocritical” as the tobacco industry opposed to tobacco tax increases in the previous occasions and objected to governments’ action to prevent illicit tobacco trade (Image 13). The government also accused the industry of supporting the illicit cigarette trade in South Africa.[131]
Image 13:Tobacco industry accused of hypocrisy over their statements on reduced government tobacco tax revenue and increase of illicit tobacco trade in South Africa.[103]

Week 20: 27th July to 2nd August 2020

Image 14:Media Reporting the challenge by British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa.[136]
  • Certain media reported that the South African government admits smokers are “less likely to be infected” with COVID-19, but “cigarette purchasing during lockdown increased the inter personal contact as compared with ordinary shoppers”, quoting a 251-page response by government to a court challenge against its ongoing ban on cigarettes and tobacco products.[137]
  • Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) launched an 'illness to wellness' awareness programme to promote healthy living. The programme was sponsored by the ITC Limited India health Hygiene brand, Savlon (Image 15).[138]
Image 15: The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) launched an 'illness to wellness' awareness programme in association with ITC brand Savlon

Week 21: 3rd to 9th August 2020

  • In Malaysia, media gave a wide coverage to a survey commissioned by the British American Tobacco Malaysia (BAT Malaysia), which says “a large majority of Malaysians think the tobacco black market is impeding the country’s Covid-19 economic recovery” (Image 16).[146]
Image 16: Media reporting the results of a survey conducted by the British American Tobacco (BAT) Malaysia.[146]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) announced that their stocks had performed very well despite the pandemic.[147]

Week 22: 10th to 16th August 2020

  • South African media reported that cigarette ban is to be lifted, as the country is moving to lockdown Level 2.[148]
  • In South Africa, Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) said they will continue with their case against the tobacco products ban in the Supreme Court of Appeals against the tobacco ban in South Africa.[149]
  • Sri Lankan Media reported that Sri Lanka’s cigarette sales has gone down by 38% due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Image 17).[150]
Image 17: Derana Media reporting that Sri Lanka’s cigarette sales had decreased due to the COVID-19.[150]

Week 23: 17th to 23rd August 2020

  • Report Ocean, a market research Institute issued a report on electronic cigarette market highlighting strong growth and demand, and the CVOD-19 impact, mentioning the names of the tobacco companies group and British American Tobacco (BAT).[155]
  • In Zambia, a local leader publicly thanked Japan Tobacco International (JTI) for its recent donation.[156]
Image 18: Japan Tobacco International website featuring the statement of a government official in a District Administration Office.[156]

Week 24: 24th to 30th August 2020

  • Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) withdrew its legal challenge against the tobacco ban in South Africa during the lockdown stating they have reached a settlement with the government. The tobacco ban was lifted early in August when the country moved to Level 2 of its COVID-19 pandemic response strategy and reduced the related restrictions [158]
Image 19: Media Report on FITA withdrawing the legal challenge against the South African government.[158]
Image 20: Media reporting about lifting the tobacco ban in Bhutan.[160]
  • Consumer Information Network (CIN) in Kenya issued a report titled “Tobacco Industry Index 2020” exposing tobacco industry interference under the following themes: involvement in policy development, corporate social responsibility, tax regime, unnecessary interaction, lack of transparency and conflict of interest. This report included a section on violations related to tobacco advertisement promotions and sponsorships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report accused that listing tobacco under the ‘essential products list’ is a result of government accepting donations from the tobacco industry.[162]
  • Verified Market Research issued a report titled E-cigarette and Vaping Market Size 2020 and COVID19 Impact Analysis mentioning the names of the major tobacco companies Altria Group, British American Tobacco (BAT), Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco International (JTI).[163]

Week 25: 31st August to 6th September 2020

Week 26: 7th to 13th September 2020

Image 21: Media Report on Spire Market Research.[170]
  • In 2015, the United National General Assembly (UNGA) recognised that the price and tax increase measures on tobacco would be effective and important to reduce its consumption and related health care costs. However, tobacco taxation was ignored when the meeting was held on September 8th 2020 with ministers of finance from all members of states to support economic recovery from the COVID pandemic and to mobilise financial resources to drive progress towards the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).[176]

Week 27: 14th to 20th September 2020

Image 22: Media reporting about British American Tobacco (BAT) earnings going up in Zimbabwe.[177]

Week 28: 21st to 27th September 2020

  • In USA of Agriculture (USDA) was reported to pay up to USD100 million to tobacco farmers as part of a USD 14 billion assistance programme for farmers affected by the pandemic. The media report claimed that this would be beneficial to the multinational tobacco manufacturers.[181]
Image 23: Reuters Business reporting that “COVID-19 stimulus money will end up in U.S. tobacco farmers’ pockets[181]
  • PT HM Sampoerna mentioned that in Indonesia consumers prefer cheaper cigarettes because of the increase in the excise tax and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. They further reported that impact of the COVID-19 epidemic increased cigarette purchases and their market share of smaller pack products also increased.[182]

Week 29: 28th September to 4th October 2020

  • Tobacco taxation was ignored in the United National General Assembly (UNGA)’s meeting held on September 29th 2020 to support economic recovery from the COVID pandemic and to mobilise financial resources to drive progress towards the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).[187][176]

Week 30: 5th to 11th October 2020

  • Imperial Brands mentioned that the tobacco sales volumes and demand had increased than expected during the COVID-19 pandemic and stated that this might have been due to consumers in Europe and the US spending more money on tobacco.[188]

Week 31: 12th to 18th October 2020

  • In Egypt, Philip Morris International donated medical supplies to the Kasr Al-Ainy Cairo University Hospital, and essential food products, reportedly, to “the most vulnerable families” affected by the COVID-19.[189]

Week 32: 19th to 25th October 2020

  • The Department of Finance, Philippines, stated to media that Japan Tobacco International (JTI) in the Philippines plans to increase domestic tobacco purchases in the coming years, reportedly to support local farmers negatively affected by the economic issues due to the COVID-19 outbreak.[190]
Image 24: Malaya Business Insight reporting that JTI to hike local tobacco sourcing[190]
  • A market research institute issued a report on COVID-19 impact on the tobacco industry this week as well.
    • Global Smokeless Tobacco Products Market Research Report claimed that global smokeless tobacco market would show a moderate increase from 2020 to 2027 with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.[191]

Week 33: 26th to 31st October 2020

  • A spokesperson of the tobacco front group, the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance, claimed that the cigarette sales ban during COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa affected tobacco growers negatively, reduced the government’s tax revenue, and increased illegal cigarette sales. He further claimed that the government's revenue could be increased by increasing the volume of tobacco sales or raising its taxes.[192]
  • A market research institute issued a report on COVID-19 impact on the tobacco industry this week as well.
    • Tobacco group Swedish Match profit report mentioned that the consumer demand and the profit growth rate of the tobacco-free nicotine products have increased due to the impact of COVID-19 in the United States and Norway.[193]
Image 25: REUTERS reporting that Tobacco group Swedish Match profit tops forecast as pandemic spurs demand[193]

From this week's update we are concluding this page and will continue updates as separate new pages on monthly basis from November 2020. We will update this page if new information emerge on the weeks reported in this page.

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Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 World Health Organisation (WHO). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, 11 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  2. World Meter.coronavirus pandemic, 13 July 2020, Accessed July 2020
  3. World Meter.(COVID-19) Mortality Rate, 10 July 2020, Accessed July 2020
  4. World Health Organization(WHO).[ https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/11-05-2020-who-statement-tobacco-use-and-covid-19 WHO statement: Tobacco use and COVID-19]11 May 2020,Accessed July 2020
  5. Janice M. Leung et. al.ACE-2 Expression in the Small Airway Epithelia of Smokers and COPD Patients: Implications for COVID-19European Respiratory Journal , April 2020, July 2020
  6. R E Jordan et. al. Covid-19: risk factors for severe disease and death, British Medical Journal (BMJ), 26 March 2020,Accessed July 2020
  7. Edward Livingston and Karen Bucher.Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Italy, National Center for Biotechnology Information(NCBI), 28 April 2020, Accessed July 2020
  8. E Fernandez. Smoking Nearly Doubles the Rate of COVID-19 Progression, University of California, San Francisco, 12 May 2020, Accessed July 2020
  9. N Thomas. 1 in 3 young adults vulnerable to severe Covid-19 and smoking plays a big part, research finds, 13 July 2020, Accessed July 2020
  10. Guan et al. Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China, 28 February 2020, Accessed July 2020
  11. Rambler.ru. Helsingin Sanomat (Финляндия): в Петербурге табачные компании добились включения сигарет в список товаров первой необходимости Об этом сообщает "Рамблер". Далее, 22 March 2020, Accessed July 2020
  12. Isabel Togoh. Big Tobacco Criticized For Donating Ventilators To Greek Hospitals Amid Coronavirus Crisis, 30 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  13. GAZ. Prefeitura repassa mais de R USD 2 milhões a hospitais de Santa Cruz, 25 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  14. Business Media Georgia. Philip Morris Georgia announces immediate contribution of 100 000 gel towards fight against covid-19, 23 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  15. The Economic Times. ITC announces Rs 150 crore COVID-19 contingency fund for vulnerable sections of society, 27 March 2020, Accessed April 2020
  16. Tornos news. Greek tobacco firm donates 50 respirators to equip Greek hospitals, 18 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  17. COHEP. [1], 25 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  18. 18.0 18.1 Face Book К є у . කී March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  19. Tobacco Industry watch, South East Asia Tobacco control Alliance. TI steps-up CSR activities during COVID-19 pandemic, 7 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  20. Profit.ro Philip Morris donează, în România, 1 milion de dolari pentru Crucea Roșie, 27 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  21. British American Tobacco (BAT). News Release, BAT working on potential COVID-19 vaccine through US bio-tech subsidiary, 1 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  22. Qeios. Low incidence of daily active tobacco smoking in patients with symptomatic COVID-19, 21 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  23. Le Monde. Comment le lobby du tabac a subventionné des labosfrançais, 07 January 2013, Accessed May 2020
  24. Sun News Online. COVID-19: Kwara shuts borders, fumigate markets, 31 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  25. The Minando Daily Mirror. LT Group clarifies donation of face masks to Cavite hospital, 02 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  26. BCause. Who are the generous donors to the campaign, set up by BCause Foundation and #Forthegood Project against COVID-19 in Bulgaria?, 31 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  27. Meaww.com. Tobacco firm Philip Morris faces backlash over 'coronavirus publicity stunt' after it donates ventilators, 20 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  28. The Hindu. DTC donates ₹25 lakh to CMRF, 06 April 2020, Accessed April 2020
  29. The Hindu. ITC’s perfume unit will now make Savlon hand sanitisers, 31March 2020, Accessed May 2020
  30. Indian Express. Coronavirus effect: ITC starts producing Savlon hand sanitisers from fragrances factory, 31 March 2020, Accessed May 2020
  31. Hindustan Times. ITC’s boxes of ‘hope’ and ‘happiness’ to provide essential supplies to the elderly amid Covid-19 lockdown, 05 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  32. Sun Star. P1.8-M ventilator gidonar sa MisOr sa NMMC, 06 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  33. Ben Evardone. [2], 31 March 2020, Accessed June 2020
  34. Tobacco Tactics. Free Market Foundation, 08 June 2020, Accessed June 2020
  35. The Citizen. UPDATE: Rupert’s R1bn for Covid-19 was always a donation after all, 1 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  36. Union UA. Філіп Морріс Україна пожертвувала 10 мільйонів гривень для боротьби з епідемією коронавірус, 02April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  37. n TV Online.[3], 3 April 2020, Accessed July 2020
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