British American Tobacco (BAT) in its own words

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

BAT in its own words: Public reporting on hidden agendas, Stakeholder report by Lisa Rimmer, for Action on Smoking and Health, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth. Undated.

Summary of published document:

This 40 page, joint report produced by the above organizations analyzed previously-secret tobacco industry documents to explore the behavior and performance of the United Kingdom-based multinational tobacco company, British American Tobacco (BAT), the second-largest tobacco company in the world. The authors found that BAT worked to split the United Nations with strategic lobbying; tried to influence the World Trade Organization (WTO) to oppose the regulation of tobacco; campaigned to discredit research from the World Health Organization (WHO); circumvented existing laws and funded lobby groups to persuade decision-makers not to regulate the tobacco industry; attempted to divide and undermine critics by developing non-governmental organization (NGO) partnerships and promoting its youth smoking prevention policies. They also found that BAT constructs a false image of elitist, Western, tobacco-control campaigners intent on destroying poorer Southern countries’ economies, and that BAT tries to influence tobacco taxation policies by using the fear of cigarette smuggling to persuade governments to lower tobacco taxes. The report shows that a BAT priority has been securing policymakers’ support for their strictly voluntary approach to corporate regulation and exposes the inherent weaknesses of this approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), especially for companies that manufacture hazardous products.

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