Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Fights Life-Saving Measures

A series of investigative articles by The New York Times beginning June 30, 2015 exposed how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (U.S. Chamber) has worked systematically in countries around the world to help the tobacco industry fight life-saving measures to reduce tobacco use. In response to the Times coverage, concerned parties including United States corporations, lawmakers and the media acted and spoke up in protest. CVS Health resigned from the U.S. Chamber, and a group of United States Senators released a public statement critical of the U.S. Chamber and sent letters to the member companies of the U.S. Chamber’s Board of Directors asking about their positions on the Chamber’s efforts to fight tobacco control measures.

Now, a group of public interest and international public health organizations have released “Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco.” This report and the case studies below provide additional information about more than a dozen instances in which the U.S. Chamber and local American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) affiliates have intervened on behalf of some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies to interfere with countries’ efforts to pass and implement proven, life-saving policies. The U.S. Chamber’s lobbying on behalf of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is shown to be a global, systematic pattern of activity.

In many cases tobacco companies, as shown in the map below, hold membership or leadership positions in AmCham chapters. Examples of actual letters sent by the U.S. Chamber to officials in countries working to pass tobacco control policies are also provided.

"Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco" was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Public Citizen, Corporate Accountability International, the Framework Convention Alliance, Action on Smoking and Health (US), Smoke-Free Partnership, InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance and the African Tobacco Control Alliance.


U.S. Chamber Interference in Countries’ Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Use: Country Case Studies

Australia

Burkina Faso

El Salvador

European Union

Ireland

Jamaica

Kosovo

Moldova

Nepal

New Zealand

Philippines

Ukraine

United Kingdom

Uruguay

 

Countries Where Tobacco Companies Are Known to Hold Membership or Leadership Positions in AmCham Chapters

List of Tobacco Company Members by AmCham Chapter


U.S. Chamber Letters to Governments

From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Republic of Moldova (Unofficial Translation)
May 2015

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From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Nepal
January 28, 2015
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From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to El Salvador
January 21, 2015
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From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Uruguay
April 24, 2014
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From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Ireland
March 10, 2014
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From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Jamaica
September 16, 2013
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From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Australia
May 26, 2011
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