Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tobacco industry makes efforts to promote its products and manipulate public health, putting more people at risk.
April 20, 2020
The tobacco industry is used to taking advantage of crises, and is attempting to exploit the current Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. While the world struggles to deal with the outbreak, the tobacco industry is once again asserting its malicious objective of focusing on its vested and commercial interests.
In countries where a lockdown has been announced and only essential goods and services permitted to be offered, as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus, tobacco multinationals are engaging in initiatives to get their products labelled as essential. This despite scientific evidence that smoking and vaping can be associated with the progression and adverse outcomes of COVID-19. The tobacco industry is equally exploiting the pandemic to clean its image by offering support in some countries.
In discordance with tobacco companies taking advantage of the pandemic, the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) issues this Statement to expose their tactics and call for action.