Blogs



A collection of blog posts by ASH staff members and external colleagues/collaborators. These posts can also be found on our Medium page.

Why Big Tobacco sponsors Formula 1


The tobacco industry first used Formula 1 racing as an advertising platform in the late 1960s, keen to associate its tobacco brands with the glamour of the sport and its drivers. It’s only a surprise it took so long, given the promotional opportunities provided by the venues, the vehicles and the race suits. F1 was […]

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Tobacco industry to blame for polluted waterways and death of marine life


Cigarette butts, which filter tobacco smoke, became popular in the 1950s, when lung cancer scares first arose, promoted by the tobacco companies as a safer form of smoking. They were used as a marketing tool, designed to keep and recruit smokers as consumers of these hazardous products even after Big Tobacco knew full well that […]

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New Report Shows How BAT avoids Corporate Taxes


A new report by the Tax Justice Network shows the lengths British American Tobacco goes to avoid paying corporate taxes, particularly in low and middle income countries, where about four in five of the world’s smokers live. The report, “Ashes to Ashes”, looks at BAT and its tax record in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad […]

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BAT under investigation by the ASA for promoting e-cigs to young people on social media


The Advertising Standards Authority is investigating BAT’s promotion of its Vype e-cigarette through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) and ASH have sent evidence to the ASA showing how BAT’s promotions breach the Committee of Advertising Practice Code, and the Advertising Guidance on Electronic Cigarettes. CTFK says that: “BAT is […]

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Tobacco Companies Transparency Bill


Blog post by Bob Blackman MP, chairman of the APPG on Smoking & Health about his Ten Minute Rule Bill . [1] The Bill I recently introduced to parliament requires the collection and publication of national and international tobacco industry data on profits, taxes paid, product prices, marketing and research spending, and local data on […]

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ASH WANTS TO KNOW – ARE YOU SICK OF SMOKING?


Blog by Dr Nick Hopkinson chair of the Board of Trustees of ASH, asking smokers with serious diseases caused by smoking to tell ASH your stories so we can hold the industry to account.   Tobacco manufacturers are highly profitable, reaping benefits for shareholders and senior management. But every day I see the damage they […]

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Big Tobacco’s Big Profits #ActOnTobacco


Today marks the start of a campaign by ASH and our partners, highlighting how Big Tobacco’s big profits continue to be built on a lethal trade and shady dealings. Over the coming week the two biggest transnational tobacco companies in the world, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris International (PMI) are holding their Annual General Meetings: […]

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Big Tobacco’s Big Environmental Impact


We all know that smoking has a serious impact on our health, but what about the health of our planet? When we think about cigarettes and pollution, images of cigarette butts and discarded ugly coloured packaging immediately spring to mind. But the environmental footprint left by tobacco stretches across its entire supply chain, and therefore […]

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The proof of the Long Term Plan pudding will be in the eating


The proof of the Long Term Plan pudding will be in the eating From the point of view of the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership there was much that looked delicious about the proposals in the NHS Long Term Plan. The plan expresses a desire to take ‘specific action’ to reduce smoking among people with long term mental […]

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Big Tobacco is desperate to prevent ‘plain packaging’ spreading around the world


Typical cigarette packages before and after plain packaging was introduced   Coming up to a year after standardised ‘plain packaging’ was fully implemented in the UK on 20 May 2017, the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) [1] and now Japan Tobacco International (JTI) [2] have claimed that it’s a failure. Why is Big Tobacco bothering, when […]

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PMI, Poverty and the Political Game


Don’t let smokescreens like the PMI-funded ‘Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’ [1] deceive you — Big Tobacco continues to pump its lethal smoked products into low- and middle-income countries, exacerbating poverty and racking up billions of dollars along the way. As the company continues to undermine tobacco control policies across the globe, [2] [3] its solemn commitment to a smokefree […]

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Tobacco’s environmental footprint


My name is Nick Voulvoulis. I’m a Professor of Environmental Technology here at Imperial College in the Centre for Environmental Policy. My work is mainly on the interface between human systems and natural systems; so understanding how we interact with the environment and live more sustainably. The problems we face around the planet has to […]

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Big tobacco’s big little lies on Twitter


“Giving back to the community matters to PMI. In #Mexico our team donated gifts to local organizations that help vulnerable youth. #InsidePMI” This Tweet, published in 2017 by Philip Morris International, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, is part of a strategic communication plan to reshape the battered reputation of the tobacco industry. In […]

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Child labour and human rights breaches in Zimbabwe tobacco farms


In the week of its AGM, ASH is urging British American Tobacco (BAT) to stop turning a blind eye to child labour and unacceptable working conditions on Zimbabwean tobacco farms which supply 6% of the company’s tobacco leaf. BAT’s ‘Supplier Code of Conduct and Child Labour Policy’, published in 2016, outlined its commitment to ensuring […]

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How British diplomats have defended BAT’s overseas activities


British diplomats have defended BAT’s overseas activities, a company under investigation for corruption by the Serious Fraud Office Despite the perennially gloomy economic forecasts about Britain, it stubbornly remains one of the world’s most powerful economies. The UK is currently the 5th largest economy by GDP [1] and a number of British companies are listed […]

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