The Tobacco Industry

Tobacco industry sponsorship of the arts is unacceptable:


Because the tobacco industry was responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century and current predictions are that it will kill one billion people in the 21st.


Because smoking is a major cause of several diseases.


Because it takes profits made from the ill health of people who are often the most vulnerable in society and around the world to subsidise what are often elite cultural activities.


– Because the tobacco industry makes extensive use of child labour and harms the environment.


– Because it allows the tobacco industry to present itself to the public as a “good corporate citizen”.


– Because it allows the tobacco industry to pretend that it is socially responsible.


Because arts sponsorship can allow opportunities, through private viewings and VIP events, to mix informally with policy makers.


Despite the fact that tobacco companies now acknowledge the harm of the products they are selling…

“Philip Morris USA agrees with the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and other serious diseases in smokers. Smokers are far more likely to develop such serious diseases than non-smokers.” – Philip Morris USA website, 2014

… tobacco companies have been shown to target the most vulnerable in society.

 “We reserve …[the] right [to smoke] for the poor, the young, the black and the stupid.” –  R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company executive, 1993

Currently, tobacco companies claim that their marketing is aimed at current adult smokers, however, research has shown that tobacco marketing continues to be aimed at young people…

“The evidence is sufficient to conclude that advertising and promotional activities by the tobacco companies cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.” – US Surgeon General’s Report, 2014

…and in many countries, it is the poor who smoke the most and who bear the most of the economic and disease burden of tobacco use.

Required work time to buy cigarette pack vs. bread or rice:



Local brand

Bread (1 kg)

Rice (1 kg)

Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) 22 min. 18 min. 52 min. 13 min.
Canada (Toronto) 21 min. 17 min. 10 min. 11 min.
Chile 38 min. 33 min. 19 min. 25 min.
China 62 min. 56 min. 103 min. 47 min.
Hungary 71 min. 54 min. 25 min. 42 min.
India 102 min. 77 min. 34 min. 79 min.
Kenya 158 min. 92 min. 64 min. 109 min.
Mexico 49 min. 40 min. 49 min. 25 min.
Poland 56 min 40 min. 21 min. 23 min.
United Kingdom 40 min. 40 min. 6 min. 8 min.


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