When will the tobacco industry apologise for its galactic harms?

Simon Chapman writes for the BMJ blog about the forthcoming advertisements from the US tobacco industry where they must admit to deceiving the public about addiction and health harms.

But as snakes shed their skins only to replace them with more of the same, the global tobacco industry continues its business as usual. A friend teaching in Myanmar emailed me last week describing sales promotion staff for foreign brands openly handing out free cigarettes to children. Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest nation, where smoking by men is almost compulsory and tobacco control policies almost non-existent, is a transnational tobacco industry paradise wallpapered with tobacco advertising by BAT, Philip Morris, and local companies. The industry says ad nauseam that it supports “effective” tobacco control, while continuing to lobby—as if its economic life depended on it—against any law or policy like plain packaging that threatens its bottom line.

Simon Chapman is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney and Editor Emeritus of Tobacco Control. Twitter: @simonchapman6

This video outlines the history of tobacco industry marketing in the US

 

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