China sells itself to BAT putting half a billion women at risk

Thursday 03 May 2001



ASH press release: immediaterelease  Thursday 3 May  2001



China sells itself to Big Tobaccoputting half a billion women at risk



Responding to disclosure by BATand the Chinese Government over the formation of a joint venture company, CliveBates of ASH, said:  “BAT calls theplanning of a joint venture with the Chinese government a ‘growthopportunity’.  But it will be theChinese people who will suffer in the long term.  The big opportunity for BAT is Chinese women.  Currently only 3% of Chinese womensmoke.  For BAT, persuading more Chinesewomen to smoke is the biggest marketing opportunity in the world.


“For public health and China, itis the single biggest threat.  Once BAThas its bridgehead in Beijing and partnership with the Chinese government,there is a danger that any pretence of putting health before tobacco policy inChina will disappear.  BAT isn’t goingto let health measures stand in the way of its growth ambitions.


“China has sent a big delegationto the tobacco negotiations in Geneva but back home they may allow BAT toencourage a huge expansion in smoking.

China should tread verycarefully in any dealings with the most aggressive tobacco multinational in theworld”


Contact: Clive Bates   +44 77 6879 1237 (mobile)     +41 22 716 1212 (Geneva hotel)

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:arial’>+ 44 207739 5902 (ASH office)         ISDNavailable in London