Big Tobacco’s War on African Anti-Smoking Laws
Leading tobacco manufacturer British American Tobacco, and other tobacco firms, are fighting regulations to limit the harm caused by smoking, currently being brought in by the Ugandan and Kenyan governments.
An article in the Guardian newspaper claims that ‘in pursuit of growth in Africa, British American Tobacco and others use intimidatory tactics to attempt to suppress health warnings and regulation’.
It says that the big tobacco companies have taken similar actions in regards to challenging governments in eight African countries.
Strict controls in Europe and the US has seen sale fall massively. So instead the tobacco companies are looking to Africa with its young and flourishing population as a lucrative market. Furthermore Africa has an estimated 77 million smokers, a number which is expected to rise by nearly 40% by 2030, the largest projected increase in the world.
In February BAT launched a case in Kenya’s supreme court, likely halting the imposing of tobacco controls until after the country’s August general election. While in November last year BAT launched legal action against the Ugandan government arguing that the Tobacco Control Act contravenes the constitution.