Magazine article New Internationalist

Big Tobacco Takes a Tumble

Magazine article New Internationalist

Big Tobacco Takes a Tumble

Article excerpt


Health campaigners in Senegal are celebrating the passage of tough new anti-smoking legislation.

The law makes Senegal the sixth African nation to ban smoking in almost all public places, and also includes a total ban on advertising along with the introduction of graphic health warnings on 70 per cent of cigarette packets.

Philip Morris - which makes brands Marlboro and L&M and has a factory in Senegal - admits to having lobbied 'transparently and pro-actively' to alter the legislation.

'What happened here is an example of long-term resistance to tobacco industry interference,' explains Tih Ntiabang, Africa Co-ordinator of the civil-society Framework Convention Alliance.

As regulations tighten in the West, companies are aggressively targeting African markets where laws around advertising are more lax.

According to Ntiabang, pressure from Big Tobacco is 'one of the main obstacles for any law in Africa', while a growing global trend of pursuing litigation when lobbying fails could pose further problems. …

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