Kenneth Clarke, a British Conservative Party leadership aspirant, is resisting calls to resign as non-executive deputy chairman of British American Tobacco (BAT) and chair of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee. Clarke's supporters have suggested he would resign the roles only if elected leader.
The World Health Organization announced that 40 nations have ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The convention "changes the way Big Tobacco does business," said Kathryn Mulvey of Corporate Accountability International. The convention governs tobacco marketing, taxation and health warnings in signatory countries, starting in March 2005.
The news media have devoted scant coverage to the $280 billion federal lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice against tobacco companies, but anti-tobacco activists are filling the gap with a weblog that offers blow-by-blow analysis of the trial and courtroom testimony.
"The most important type of story is that which casts doubt on the cause and effect theory of smoking and cancer," read one internal Council for Tobacco Research memo presented by the U.S. Justice Department on the first day of the largest civil racketeering trial brought by the government.
In 1990, British lawyer Andrew Foyle wrote a memorandum to British American Tobacco regarding the company's "document retention policy." U.S. government lawyers contend the Foyle memo provides information on tobacco companies' actions "to destroy, suppress or otherwise shield from discovery ... internal research documents concerning smoking and health." The U.S.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that Philip Morris attempted to influence media coverage of secondhand smoke. Citing internal industry documents, the study's author, Dr.
British American Tobacco is carrying out animal tests on chocolate, wine, sherry, cocoa, corn syrup, cherry juice, maple syrup and vanilla-flavored tobacco. Former British health secretary Frank Dobson remarked, "We all know that hardly anyone takes up smoking when they are grown up. That is why the tobacco industry wants to target children [with flavored tobacco]." Flavored cigarettes, which were first sold by R.J.
Secret documents reveal that British-American Tobacco has spent millions of pounds funding university research to back the controversial theory of "genetic predisposition," which argues that some people are more susceptible to lung cancer than others because they have "bad genes." The environmental group Gene Watch has obtained internal memos from BAT showing that research into "bad genes" was by far BAT's largest area of university funding in the early 1990s.
"A tobacco company is offering a free lifetime supply of cigarettes to celebrity smokers as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign to raise the public profile of its recently launched brand," the Associated Press reports. "In a tersely worded pitch, Freedom Tobacco International Inc. said it was seeking to 'seed' its cigarettes with adult celebrities. The appeal was made Tuesday to publicists through a Web-based network subscribed to by hundreds of public relations agencies. ...