No trace of reality

| June 20, 2018

The ‘major tobacco companies’ are acting as corporate chameleons, spending millions on make-overs, trying to convince the world they have changed when they have not, according to a story by AB Gilmore and A Rowell of the University of Bath.

The story, published as a Tobacco Control blog, said that, shattering the ‘expensive illusion’ of change was the latest evidence, published this week in Tobacco Control, that had uncovered one of their greatest scams.

Not only were tobacco companies still involved in tobacco smuggling, but they were positioning themselves to control the very system governments around the world had designed to stop them from doing so.

Their elaborate and underhand effort, implemented over years, involved front groups, third parties, fake news and payments to the international regulatory authorities meant to hold them to account.

Towards the end of their piece, Gilmore and Rowell said that many intergovernmental organisations and national tax and customs authorities around the world appeared to have swallowed, without question, the tobacco industry’s misleading version of events.

‘It is vital that they wake up and realise what is at stake: if the tobacco industry’s tricks work, they will be left in charge of the very system meant to keep them in check, the system meant to stop them from smuggling their own products, the system meant to safeguard government revenues,’ they said.

‘Yet identifying which are the industry’s latest front groups, spokespeople, linked companies or coalitions is increasingly difficult given the lengths industry will go in order to disguise these interests.

‘If there is a simple message it is this: no government should implement a track and trace system linked in any shape or form to the tobacco manufacturers. In short, no-one can trust the tobacco industry chameleons.’

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Category: Breaking News, Illicit trade, Regulation, Tax, Technology

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