Youngsters join global ‘Day of Action’ to protest against British American Tobacco’s alleged corruption

Today young people from schools and youth groups across the country came together to protest at BAT’s AGM against the company’s activities in Africa. They joined Corporate Accountability International’s ‘Day of Action’ which saw simultaneous events in Africa and Latin America to demonstrate against allegations of BAT’s corruption in East Africa.

Last year a BBC Panorama programme exposed evidence of bribery and found that BAT had paid politicians and civil servants in East Africa to undermine international tobacco control policies [1].

Every year almost 100,000 people in the UK [2] and nearly 6 million people worldwide die from smoking related diseases [3]. These young people joined the Corporate Accountability International Campaign to show that this is totally unacceptable.

Cloe Franko, Senior International Organiser at Corporate Accountability International which organised the ‘Day of Action’, said:

“It is great to see young people from across the world joining together and using their voices to highlight the corrupt practices of the tobacco industry. Any bribery of elected officials is illegal, but when it’s done to prevent laws that will protect people from illness and suffering it is morally unforgivable.”

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health said:

“Adults don’t take up smoking, children and young people do, with two thirds of smokers starting before the age of 18. British American Tobacco has to attract young people to replace the thousands of smokers its products kill every year, and that’s just in the UK, with many hundreds of thousands more dying worldwide. The young people demonstrating today, at the BAT AGM in the UK and in Africa, put to shame the shareholders who profit from BAT’s underhand tactics to promote its deadly products.”


1. The Secret Bribes of Big Tobacco, BBC Panorama, November 2015
2. Smoking Statistics: Illness and death, ASH, December 2015
3. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011, World Health Organization, 2011

Pictures of the event