Globally Reported Tobacco Industry Interference during COVID-19 Pandemic - November 2020

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This is a continuation of our page on Globally Reported Tobacco Industry Interference during COVID-19 Pandemic and summarises the incidents reported during the month of November 2020. This page will continuously be updated as and when incidents related to the month of November are reported.

Table 1 summarises the incidents reported since 13th March 2020, the date of initiation of Lock Down in Sri Lanka, which is the date we started monitoring Globally Reported Tobacco Industry Interference during COVID-19 Pandemic.

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 63
Philip Morris International (PMI) Brazil, Costa Rica, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Philippines, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia, Russia 35
Japan Tobacco International (JTI) United Kingdom (UK), Bangladesh, Turkey, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Zambia 26
Altria group United Sates of America (USA) 23
Imperial Tobacco Russia 15
ITC Limited India India 12
Reynolds American United Sates of America (USA) 1
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 3
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 (UK), 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 37

Week 34: 2nd November 2020 - 8th November 2020

  • Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Malaysia issued a statement declaring that illicit cigarette trade had increased due to tax increases on tobacco products during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the reduced sales of their cigarettes. Media reported that they issued a similar statement in the Philippines as well.[1]
Image 1: The Malaysian Reserve reporting that JTI Malaysia “calls for concrete action against illicit cigarettes”[1]
  • Several market research institutes issued reports on COVID-19 impact on the tobacco industry in this week as well.
    • DataIntelo market research company report stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had led E-cigarette and Vape market industry to change business tactics and innovate their products. It further reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had created profitable opportunities for the E-cigarette and Vape market industry.[2]
    • Futuristicmarket research report mentioned that the light cigarette market showed significant progression in South Korea, Taiwan, North America, Europe, Canada, Germany, France, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Brazil, Pacific, and Latin America. U.S., U.K., Italy, Russia, China and Japan during the CVID-19 pandemic.[3]

Week 35: 9th November 2020- 15th November 2020

  • Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) announced that their cigarette sales had recovered to “near pre-Covid-19 levels” in September 2020 and increased compared to the previous year. They further mentioned that their revenues (with taxes) grew 26 percent to LKR 44.5 billion after price increment, and highlighted that government tax revenue had increased from LKR 26 billion to LKR 33 billion.[4]
Image 2: economynext reporting that Sri Lankan cigarette sales near pre-Covid-19 levels in Sept, tax revenues up[1]
Image 3: Reuters TORONTO reporting that Medicago's coronavirus vaccine projects backed by Canadian government [5]

Week 36: 16th November 2020- 22nd November 2020

  • Global Health Advocacy Incubator supported by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, published a report titled “[GHAI-Facing-Two-Pandemics-Report-November-2020.pdf Facing Two Pandemics: How Big Food Undermined Public Health in the Era of COVID-19]’’, and reported that Big Food used similar tactics to the Big Tobacco, i.e. the tobacco industry.[6]
  • Media reported that Philip Morris International (PMI), Imperial Brands and Altria group’s profit was higher than “expected” in the United States and Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

Week 37: 23rd November 2020- 29th November 2020

  • Media reported that the British American Tobacco (BAT)’s business is performing well even in the COVID-19 pandemic situation.[8]
  • Subsequent to a report recommending the companies to pay their taxes to offset the financial loss of government due to the COVID-19, the STOP Project highlighted the importance of collecting due taxes from the tobacco industry.[9][10]

TobaccoUnmaskedSouth.Asia Resources

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 H Azman. JTI Malaysia calls for concrete action against illicit cigarettes, The Malaysian Reserve, 2 November 2020, Accessed October 2020
  2. Alex. E-cigarette and Vape Market Is Thriving Worldwide | Altria Group, Inc., British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, International Vapor Group, Japan Tobacco, International, NicQuid, Philip Morris International Inc., R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, Shenzhen IVPS Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen KangerTech Technology Co., Ltd., TECHNOWEEKLY, 4 November 2020, Accessed November 2020
  3. R Mark. Light Cigarettes Market Business Opportunities, Future Scope and Covid-19 Impact by 2026 | CHINA TOBACCO, Altria Group, British American Tobacco and Others PRnewsleader, 4 November 2020, Accessed December 2020
  4. economynext. Sri Lanka cigarette sales near pre-Covid-19 levels in Sept, tax revenues up, 11 November 2020, Accessed November 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 Reuters Toronto. Medicago's coronavirus vaccine projects backed by Canadian govt, 13 November 2020, Accessed December 2020
  6. Global Health Advocacy Incubator. [GHAI-Facing-Two-Pandemics-Report-November-2020.pdf Facing Two Pandemics How Big Food Undermined Public Health in the Era of COVID-19], Accessed December 2020
  7. T,Reuters. Big Tobacco gets a pandemic pick-me-up, KFGO, 19 November 2020, Accessed October 2020
  8. A Chester. My top 3 FTSE 100 shares to buy in December Yahoo Finance, 28 November 2020, Accessed October 2020
  9. Recovering rights. Topic three | progressive tax measures to realize rights, June 2020, Accessed December 2020
  10. STOP. Big Tobacco, Big Tax Avoidance, November 2020, Accessed December 2020