A brief overview of the tobacco industry in the last 20 years
ABSTRACT Since the launch of Tobacco Control 20 years ago, there have been several changes in the tobacco industry worldwide. The goal of this commentary is to present some of the keys changes of the past two decades. This time is marked by mergers and acquisitions that led to the existence, today, of four major transnational tobacco companies: Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco. The possible role of the China National Tobacco Corporation in the world tobacco market is also discussed. In addition, in the past decade there was an increase in tobacco companies' investment in non-cigarette forms of nicotine delivery. The impact of these changes for tobacco control policy is briefly discussed.
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ABSTRACT: European Union (EU) legislation bans the sale of snus, a smokeless tobacco (SLT) which is considerably less harmful than smoking, in all EU countries other than Sweden. To inform the current review of this legislation, this paper aims to explore transnational tobacco company (TTC) interests in SLT and pure nicotine in Europe from the 1970s to the present, comparing them with TTCs' public claims of support for harm reduction. Internal tobacco industry documents (in total 416 documents dating from 1971 to 2009), obtained via searching the online Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, were analysed using a hermeneutic approach. This library comprises documents obtained via litigation in the US and does not include documents from Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, or Swedish Match. To help overcome this limitation and provide more recent data, we triangulated our documentary findings with contemporary documentation including TTC investor presentations. The analysis demonstrates that British American Tobacco explored SLT opportunities in Europe from 1971 driven by regulatory threats and health concerns, both likely to impact cigarette sales negatively, and the potential to create a new form of tobacco use among those no longer interested in taking up smoking. Young people were a key target. TTCs did not, however, make SLT investments until 2002, a time when EU cigarette volumes started declining, smoke-free legislation was being introduced, and public health became interested in harm reduction. All TTCs have now invested in snus (and recently in pure nicotine), yet both early and recent snus test markets appear to have failed, and little evidence was found in TTCs' corporate materials that snus is central to their business strategy. There is clear evidence that BAT's early interest in introducing SLT in Europe was based on the potential for creating an alternative form of tobacco use in light of declining cigarette sales and social restrictions on smoking, with young people a key target. We conclude that by investing in snus, and recently nicotine, TTCs have eliminated competition between cigarettes and lower-risk products, thus helping maintain the current market balance in favour of (highly profitable) cigarettes while ensuring TTCs' long-term future should cigarette sales decline further and profit margins be eroded. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.PLoS Medicine 09/2013; 10(9):e1001506. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001506 · 14.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To characterize the histological and epidemiological features of male lung cancer patients in China. The demographic and histological information about male lung cancer patients identified from 2000-01-01 to 2012-12-31, was collected from the Cancer Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Relative frequencies (RF) were estimated for major histological subtypes and compared according to the years of diagnosis and birth. The RF of adenocarcinoma (ADC) increased from 21.96% to 43.36% and the RF of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) decreased from 39.11% to 32.23% from 2000 to 2012 in the 15 427 male lung cancer patients included in this study (Z=17.909, P<0.0001; Z=-6.117, P<0.0001). The RF of ADC increased from 28.72% in 2000-2004, 36.88% in 2005-2008 to 48.61% in 2009-2012 in patients born after 1960. The age-adjusted RF of ADC in 2007-2012 increased consistently in all the investigated areas. The increased RF of ADC in male lung cancer patients highlights the need for further investigation of the etiologic factors of these tumors. Smoke-free policies rather than modifying tobacco products should be enforced.Biomedical and Environmental Sciences 09/2014; 27(1):3-9. DOI:10.3967/bes2014.010 · 1.26 Impact Factor
Article: Term limits and the tobacco industry[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In the 1990s several American states passed term limits on legislators with the stated intention of reducing the influence of wealthy industries on career legislators. Although term limits in the United States do not have a direct relationship to public health, the tobacco industry anticipated that term limits could have indirect effects by either limiting or expanding industry influence. We detail the strategy of the tobacco industry in the wake of term limits using internal tobacco company documents and a database of campaign contributions made to legislators in term limited states between 1988 and 2002. Despite some expectations that term limits would limit tobacco industry access to state legislators, term limits appear to have had the opposite effect.Social Science [?] Medicine 03/2014; 104:1–5. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.11.005 · 2.56 Impact Factor