[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To provide an overview of the complicity of British American Tobacco (BAT) in the illicit trade of cigarettes across the African continent in terms of rationale, supply routes and scale.
Analysis of internal BAT documents and industry publications.
BAT has relied on illegal channels to supply markets across Africa since the 1980s. Available documents suggest smuggling has been an important component of BAT's market entry strategy in order to gain leverage in negotiating with governments for tax concessions, compete with other transnational tobacco companies, circumvent local import restrictions and unstable political and economic conditions and gain a market presence. BAT worked through distributors and local agents to exploit weak government capacity to gain substantial market share in major countries.
Documents demonstrate that the complicity of BAT in cigarette smuggling extends to Africa, which includes many of the poorest countries in the world. This is in direct conflict with offers by the company to contribute to stronger international cooperation to tackle the illicit tobacco trade.
Tobacco control 08/2008; 17(5):339-46. · 3.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trial testimony from the United States provides a unique opportunity to examine strategies of the American tobacco industry. This paper examines congruence between the arguments for tobacco control policy presented by representatives of the American tobacco industry at trial and the stages of responsibility associated with corporate social responsibility principles in other industries.
Trial testimony collected and coded by the Deposition and Trial Testimony Archive (DATTA).
All available testimony was gathered from representative senior staff from major tobacco companies: Brown & Williamson, Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, and Liggett.
Transcripts from each witness selected were collected and imported in text format into WinMax, a qualitative data program. The documents were searched for terms relating to tobacco control policies, and relevant terms were extracted. A hand search of the documents was also conducted by reading through the testimony. Inferred responsibility for various tobacco control policies (health information, second-hand smoking, youth smoking) was coded.
The level of responsibility for tobacco control policy varied according to the maturity of the issue. For emerging issues, US tobacco company representatives expressed defensiveness while, for more mature issues, such as youth smoking, they showed increased willingness to deal with the issue. This response to social issues is consistent with corporate social responsibility strategies in other industries.
While other industries use corporate social responsibility programmes to address social issues to protect their core business product, the fundamental social issue with tobacco is the product itself. As such, the corporate nature of tobacco companies is a structural obstacle to reducing harm caused by tobacco use.
Tobacco control 01/2007; 15 Suppl 4:iv98-106. · 3.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the complicity of British American Tobacco (BAT) in cigarette smuggling in Asia, and to assess the centrality of illicit trade to regional corporate strategy.
Analysis of previously confidential documents from BAT's Guildford depository. An iterative strategy combined searches based on geography, organisational structure, and key personnel, while corporate euphemisms for contraband were identified by triangulation.
BAT documents demonstrate the strategic importance of smuggling across global, regional, national, and local levels. Particularly important in Asia, contraband enabled access to closed markets, created pressure for market opening, and was highly profitable. Documents demonstrate BAT's detailed oversight of illicit trade, seeking to reconcile the conflicting demands of control and deniability.
BAT documents demonstrate that smuggling has been driven by corporate objectives, indicate national measures by which the problem can be addressed, and highlight the importance of a coordinated global response via WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Tobacco control 01/2005; 13 Suppl 2:ii104-11. · 3.85 Impact Factor