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British American Tobacco allegedly blocking regulatory attempts to limit smoking-related harm in Kenya & Uganda; company comments

Author: Paul Redfern, Business Daily (Kenya), Published on: 12 July 2017

"BAT on the spot again over 'unjustified' business practices in Kenya, Uganda"

British American Tobacco (BAT) has...been accused of using unjustified practices to dilute plans to limit sales of its products in Kenya...”According to the report, BAT, one of the world’s leading cigarette manufacturers, is using the courts “to try to block the Kenyan and Ugandan governments’ attempts to bring in regulations to limit the harm caused by smoking.” With sales in Europe and the US plummeting, the tobacco companies are looking to Africa which has a fast-growing young and increasingly prosperous population to boost sales...

The Guardian claims that...BAT’s lawyers are demanding that the High Court “quash in its entirety” a package of anti-smoking regulations and what it calls a “capricious” tax plan. The case is now before the Supreme Court after BAT Kenya lost in the High Court and the appeals court...In neighbouring Uganda, BAT has claimed that Kampala’s Tobacco Control Act is “inconsistent with and in contravention of the constitution”. The report also claims that the company is targeting children in its attempts to gain new sales, a claim BAT strongly deny...

At its annual meeting in March, chairman Richard Burrows was asked about the legal action in East Africa. He said tobacco was an industry that “should be regulated ... but we want to see that regulation is serving the correct interests of the health mission and human mission which should lie behind it”. BAT says it is “simply not true that we oppose all tobacco regulation, particularly in developing countries”.

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Related companies: British American Tobacco