Every year, tobacco kills over 7 million people. It is the single largest cause of preventable death on the planet. And the very industry that drives this epidemic makes hundreds of billions of dollars in profits. With those profits at stake, massive tobacco corporations like Philip Morris International (PMI) and British American Tobacco (BAT) are doing everything they can to undermine public health policy.
But this epidemic is reversible. We know what causes it, and we know how to stop it. Clearing Big Tobacco out of the way so we can fully implement strong public health protections in countries around the world will save millions of lives.
Right now, governments are gathering for this year’s global tobacco treaty negotiations to advance public health measures. And our team is on the ground at the negotiations organizing around the clock to ensure governments are able to push back against Big Tobacco and advance groundbreaking measures that will save people’s lives.
You and I both know this is nothing new. Last time governments met, PMI set up a massive, covert lobbying operation. A Reuters exposé described it as “a secretive campaign to block or weaken treaty provisions that save millions of lives by curbing tobacco use.” This is on top of funding a bogus foundation to health wash its image, and pushing electronic cigarettes to addict a whole new generation to its products. And it’s all about undermining the public health protections so Big Tobacco can keep profiting.
It’s daunting for sure, but we know what it takes to stop Big Tobacco. For 20 years, we’ve been in the room partnering with the people most impacted, government champions, and allies, to successfully push for public health protections. And we can do it again this year as Big Tobacco tries new tricks to undermine global health for the sake of its profits. But we need your help.
If enough of us speak out, the policymakers in charge of these meetings will know they have the support they need to kick Big Tobacco out of meetings once and for all, and move lifesaving protections forward.