Transnational tobacco companies have taken a cynical approach to European investments in smokeless tobacco products, according to a ScienceDaily story on new research by Silvy Peeters and Anna Gilmore from the University of Bath, U.K., and the U.K. Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, published this week in PLOS Medicine.
ScienceDaily reported that the study had found that these companies’ European investments in smokeless tobacco, such as snus, had not been driven by a concern for the health impacts of smoking but “purely by business interests.”
The researchers analyzed internal tobacco industry documents that have been made available by litigation alongside contemporary industry documentation to examine the historical interests of transnational tobacco companies.
The authors concluded that by investing in snus and recently nicotine, transnational tobacco companies had eliminated competition between cigarettes and lower-risk products, thus helping to maintain the current market balance in favor of highly profitable cigarettes.
At the same time, these companies had ensured their long-term future should cigarette sales decline further and profit margins be eroded.
The ScienceDaily story is at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910205429.htm.
The PLOS Medicine piece is at http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001506.
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