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February 23rd, 2011:

British American Tobacco’s partnership with Earthwatch Europe and its implications for public health.

Glob Public Health. 2011 Feb 23:1-15.

Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

PMID: 21347934 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


This paper explores a partnership between British American Tobacco (BAT) and the environmental organisation Earthwatch Europe (EE) and considers its implications for countries implementing Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. We reviewed approximately 100 internal BAT documents, interviewed EE’s former executive director and examined media accounts and BAT and EE websites. We analysed materials by reviewing them iteratively, identifying themes, constructing a timeline of events and assembling a case study. BAT sought a partnership with EE to gain a global ally that could provide entree into the larger non-governmental organisation (NGO) community. EE debated the ethics of working with BAT, resolving them in BAT’s favour and taking a narrow view of its own overall organisational mission. To protect its reputation, EE delayed public disclosure of the partnership. Instead, EE promoted it to policy-makers and other NGOs, extending BAT’s reputation and reach into influential circles. The potential for normalising the tobacco industry presence within government through NGO partnerships and the benefits that accrued to BAT even when the partnership was not being publicised show why governments seeking to protect effective tobacco control policies from industry influence need to consider ways to identify and discourage ‘hidden’ NGO partnerships.

Australia’s plain cigarette packaging debate could have domino effect overseas–1

Australia’s plain cigarette packaging debate could have domino effect overseas

The Federal Government’s plan to force all tobacco companies to sell cigarettes in plain packaging later this year could have a domino effect overseas.

According to ABC News, the European Union’s latest tobacco products directive is now being revised. Also, researcher Dr Crawford Moodie from Stirling University in Scotland has said that if the push for plain packaging is successful in Australia, other countries will follow.

“Really, the eyes of the world will be on what happens in Australia,” he told ABC News.

The enforcement of plain packaging will mean tobacco companies will not be able to display colours, brands, logos or promotional text on cigarette packets.

Research by Citigroup predicts smoking will die out in Australia by 2030 – only two years before Sweden, and a whole decade ahead of the UK – according to the ABC.

Professor of Health Policy at Curtin University, Mike Daube, said that he hoped cigarettes would no longer be sold in the next decade.

“I think we’re going to see a time where cigarettes can only be obtained from certain sales outlets, and possibly over time only with some kind of sign off that these people are registered smokers,” he told ABC News.