The award, bestowed by the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT) , exposes and challenges countries for espousing treaty positions that benefit the tobacco industry at the expense of public health. The award is named after Philip Morris's notorious advertising icon, which has played a central role in spreading tobacco addiction globally. On the strength of the Marlboro Man advertising and promotional campaign, Marlboro became the world's leading cigarette brand, and Philip Morris/Altria (soon to split into Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International) became the world's largest and most profitable tobacco transnational.
Tobacco giants accused of 'collusion' over cigarette smuggling
This includes establishing a brand presence in new markets, and getting more people addicted to cigarettes -- particularly children because smuggled tobacco is so cheap, she told journalists.
"Documents do show industry complicity in this deadly business," Mulvey added.
The World Health Organisation is meeting in
"This week, governments have a new opportunity to prioritise health over trade and commercial interests, and hold tobacco transnationals accountable for the harms they cause," Mulvey said.
The illicit tobacco trade makes up approximately 10 percent of global tobacco sales and costs governments between 40-50 billion dollars (27-34 billion euros) every year, CAI said in a statement.
In African countries such as
Smuggled tobacco constitutes a "serious public health issue in
"It's cheaper than sweets, cheaper than any other item," Oluwafemi said.
Companies such as British American Tobacco are now seeking to portray themselves as anti-smuggling, with BAT offering to supply logistical support and even vehicles to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
However, these moves ignore the company's "long history of smuggling into
CAI said that only a strong protocol to the WHO treaty would be effective in holding companies to account.
"If history is any indication, the tobacco industry will take every opportunity to undermine the treaty's implementation," Oluwafemi warned.