Investigative Reports

Japan Tobacco International Making a Mint by Circumventing Menthol Cigarette Ban

One of the world’s largest cigarette companies, Japan Tobacco International, has been systematically skirting Europe’s effort to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes by introducing new products that secretly contain menthol. Key Findings JTI introduced dozens of new products containing some menthol in the months before and immediately after the ban took effect in May 2020. OCCRP tested...

Regulating nicotine and tobacco products

Although tobacco use is a major public health problem, tobacco products are one of the few openly available commercial products that are virtually unregulated in some countries. They are also the only legally available products that kill up to half of its regular users when consumed as recommended by manufacturers of these products. The WHO Framework...

WHO study group on tobacco product regulation: Report on the scientific basis of tobacco product regulation: eighth report of a WHO study group

Overview This report of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation provides the Director-General with scientifically sound, evidence-based recommendations for Member States about tobacco product regulation. The outcomes and recommendations address a number of issues concerning novel and emerging nicotine and tobacco products, such as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), electronic non-nicotine delivery systems...

British American Tobacco (BAT) Conducted Extensive and Potentially Illegal Activity To Undermine Health Policy, Sabotage Competitors And Secure Profits In Africa

British American Tobacco (BAT) Conducted Extensive and Potentially Illegal Activity To Undermine Health Policy, Sabotage Competitors And Secure Profits In Africa New STOP reports reveal how BAT ran a mass surveillance operation and informant network in South Africa and made questionable payments totaling $600,000 in 10 other African countries New York, September 13, 2021 – Two new analyses...

Tobacco industry pricing strategies in response to excise tax policies: a systematic review

Abstract Objective To explore what is known about the tobacco industry’s (TI) price-based responses to tobacco excise tax policies and whether these vary by country income group using a systematic review. Data sources Studies assessing TI pricing tactics were identified via searches of five online databases using a combination of search keywords. Study selection Inclusion criteria were applied by two...

A Fake Shipping Container Leads to Chinese Cigarettes — and Italy’s Camorra Crime Group

A bust of 17 tons of illicit cigarettes in Italy led back to China Tobacco’s European factory — where an executive was working closely with a group of smugglers to help them move cigarettes around Europe. Reporters found the company shipping large numbers of cigarettes to suspicious buyers in Iraq, Montenegro, Moldova, and more. Key...

Huge Quantities of Chinese Cigarettes Smuggled Into Ukraine

China Tobacco’s factory in Europe is selling hundreds of millions of cigarettes to companies in Ukraine under investigation for cigarette smuggling — one co-owned by a former border official with ties to the president. Key Findings China Tobacco has exported hundreds of millions of cigarettes to Ukraine from its European factory since 2013, even though...

China Tobacco ‘Very Discreetly’ Becomes Leaf-Buying Powerhouse in Brazil

China is complying with recommendations under a global treaty to decrease the amount of land under tobacco cultivation –– but its massive state-owned conglomerate is shifting production overseas. Brazil has become a major supplier, with farmers working under difficult conditions to grow tobacco for Chinese cigarettes. Key Findings Despite significant growth since it launched in...

Illegal Chinese Cigarettes Flooding Latin America Flow Through Panama

China Tobacco’s factory in Panama was shut down by authorities after its cigarettes kept making their way onto the black market there. A network of companies sprang up in its place — and have been shipping huge numbers of cigarettes from Panama around the region. Key Findings Countries from Mexico to Ecuador are seeing spikes...

What is China Tobacco?

What is China Tobacco? How is China Tobacco linked to the Chinese government? How is China Tobacco structured? How does China Tobacco differ from other multinational tobacco companies? How profitable is CNTC? Where in the world are China Tobacco’s cigarettes sold? What treaties regulate China Tobacco? I hear a lot about “Big Tobacco”...