Globally Reported Tobacco Industry Interference during COVID-19 Pandemic

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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 America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh, Croatia, Mexico, Nigeria, Honduras, Russia 31
Philip Morris International (PMI) Brazil, Costa Rica, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Philippines, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Goergia, Russia 22
Japan Tobacco International (JTI) United Kingdom (UK), Bangladesh, Turkey, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, South Africa 11
ITC Limited India India 11
Altria group United Sated Amercia(USA) 7
Korea Tobacco Ginseng Corporation (KT&G) Indonesia, Turkey, Russia 3
Imperial Tobacco Russia 3
Godfrey Phillips India India 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
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 22

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]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to public hospitals.[80]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) in Mexico donated money for personal protective equipment to public and private hospitals.[81]
  • Group donated money to COVID-19 relief efforts in Kentucky, USA.[82]
  • In Bangalore, India, government officials publicly thanked ITC Limited India for their lockdown deliveries of ITC food products.[83]
  • A market research launched by the market research firm Euromonitor International says that in India, cigarette sales may fall by 10 per cent in this year due to the rise in taxes and the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. The report also mentions the effects on ITC Limited India and Godfrey Phillips companies.[84]

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

  • Djarum, an Indonesian tobacco manufacturer, donated Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs) to Pamekasan Regional Hospital.[98]
  • In United States of America (USA), group donated money to a community support group.[99]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) Georgia General Manager, Felicio Ferraz, announced the submission of a pre-investigative new drug package to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by its subsidiary Kentucky Bio Processing (Image 10). In the same announcement, he highlighted BAT’s donations in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh and USA.[100]
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]
  • Foundation for smoke free world (FSFW) funded Riccardo Polosa published a journal article on the Nicotinic Hypothesis, which suggests that nicotine has a therapeutic role in COVID-19.[102]
  • 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.[103]

Week 11: 25th to 31st May 2020

  • British American Tobacco (BAT) files a law suit over the cigarette ban in South Africa (Image 11).[104][105]
Image 11: British American Tobacco (BAT) files a law suit over the cigarette ban in South Africa.[105]
  • 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”.[106]
  • In Bangladesh, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) promoted their brands through phone calls.[107]
  • Home delivery of E-cigarette products in Bangladesh.[108]
  • (KT&G) donated COVID-19 diagnostic kits to the Russian state of Kaluga Oblast and the Turkish Ministry of Health.[109]

Week 12: 1st to 7th June 2020

  • British American Tobacco (BAT) declares the COVID-19 vaccine developed by them “may enter” phase I clinical trials.[110]
  • Foundation for Smoke Free World (FSFW) called for research proposals under the theme “COVID-19, smoking, and nicotine”.[111]

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).[112]
Image 12: Euronews reporting PMI and Imperial Tobacco’s attempted justification on their Coperate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in Romania, Greece and Ukraine.[112]

Week 14: 15th to 21st June 2020

  • British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa (BATSA) filed papers in the Western Cape High Court challenging the ongoing ban on tobacco sales.[113]

Week 15: 22nd to 28th June 2020

  • According to the Snus Industry Overview by the Market Research store, major tobacco companies involved in snus trade including Swedish Match, Imperial Tobacco Group, Reynolds American, British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Altria Group have changed their business strategies “to retain their stand in the global platform” affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.[114]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa complained that there is no evidence to prove that tobacco ban reduces risk of COVID-19 transmission.[115]
  • In the United States of America (USA), the Federal Reserve bought USD 428 million in corporate bonds from companies including Philip Morris International (PMI), as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan.[116]

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.[117]
  • A group of South African companies including SPAR, 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.[118]
  • In Andhra Pradesh, India, the state government directly bought tobacco from the farmers because tobacco procurement was delayed and promised renumeration was not given to the farmers.[119]

Week 17: 6th July to 12th July 2020

Week 18: 13th July 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.[124]
  • 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).[125]

Week 19: 20th July 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)”.[126]
  • 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.[127]
  • In Chile, media articles stated that the demand for contraband cigarettes have increased due to the COVID-19 lockdown.[128]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh reported their Earnings Per Share (EPS) rose by 69% despite the COVID-19 pandemic.[129]
  • 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.[130][131][132]
  • 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.[133]
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.</ref name=Africa>

Week 20: 27th July to 2nd August 2020

  • British American Tobacco (BAT) said its first-half pre-tax profit rose due to the strong performance in its primary markets despite the COVID-19 pandemic.[134]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) declared that they are ready to start the human trials for the potential COVID-19 vaccine and they are waiting for the United Sates Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.[135][136]
  • HTF market Intelligence Consulting (A company involving in market research on History, Trends and Forecast) released a heated tobacco market critical analysis with reference to British American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris International,Altria, and Imperial Brands.[137]
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa said that they will challenge the “constitutionality” of the South African tobacco ban in the Western Cape High Court (Image 14).[138]
Image 14:Media Reporting the challenge by British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa.[138]
  • 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.[139]
  • 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).[140]
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

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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
  38. BrandEquity.com. ITC Jelimals, ChhotaBheem spread Covid-19 awareness to kids, 16 April 2020, Accessed 14 May 2020
  39. IndiFoodBev. Covid -19 – ITC Jelimals launches “Do the 5” song to spread awareness amongst kids, 21 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  40. Exchange4Media.com. ITC Jelimals launches 'Do the 5' song to spread awareness on COVID-19 amongst children, 16 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  41. BrandEquity.com. ITC Jelimals, ChhotaBheem spread Covid-19 awareness to kids, 16 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  42. Media Infoline. ITC Jelimals brings out “Do the 5” song to spread awareness, April 15, 2020, Accessed May 2020
  43. Green Gold. ChotaBheem&Jelimals - Do the 5 Song, 10 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  44. Business Line. Paperboards unit lends support to Telangana govt’s fight against Covid-1913 April 2020
  45. IndiaCSR. Covid-19: ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Paper Business lend its support to the needy in Telangana13 April 2020
  46. 46.0 46.1 Equity B Bulls. ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Paper Business lend its support to the needy in the state of Telangana amidst the Corona crisis, 13 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  47. 47.0 47.1 7 HILLS Manikchand. Manikchand Pan masala, undated, Accessed May 2020
  48. 48.0 48.1 SARC-CCT.Newspaper article. April 2020
  49. Radar Kediri. Covid-19 di Kediri, Gudang Garam Serahkan Ambulans ke PMI Dilengkapi Peralatan Medis Darurat, 07 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  50. Malasiakini. MyKasih Raises RM 3mil for Food Aid During MCO, 7 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  51. Republic of Philippines.Ecozone locators lauded for helping Covid-19 front-liners, 07 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  52. 52.0 52.1 C Gardener. COVID-19 And Lung Health: Smoking and Vaping, 14 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  53. Tobacco End Game.Philip Morris dona mascherine e disinfettante, dopo aver incassato nel 2019 un regalo da 400 milioni. La politica ringrazia: pecunia non olet, 14 May 2020, Accessed June 2020
  54. VapingPost.Vietnam: WHO Rep. Spreads Misinformation and Proposes E-Cig Ban, 16 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  55. Talking Retail. NFRN Hardship Fund hits £200,000 mark, Undated, Accessed May 2020
  56. Malay Mail. Covid-19 is the biggest global health threat in recent history, so why is WHO lecturing us on lifestyle choices — Jo Furnival, 19 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  57. Legalize vaping. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control – the biggest anti-vaping treaty you’ve never heard of, Undated, Accessed May 2020
  58. The Guardian.Coronavirus and tobacco industry duplicity, 20 April 2020, Accessed May 2020
  59. Capital FM.Liters Of Sanitizer Produced And Released For Distribution, 11 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  60. Lebanon files. "التبغ والتنباك": ملون دولار لمساعدة الطلاب08] April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  61. Tribune net. Frontlines well provisioned, 15 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  62. Rappler. Subic Freeport coronavirus ‘surge’ facilities ready next week, 09 April 2020, Accessed June 2020
  63. Seneweb. Mohamed Ould Bouamatou : Parcours d'un "Jumbo" !, 15April 2020, Accessed June 2020
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