WHO Urges End to Tobacco Subsidies

    Nations should grow food instead of leaf for cigarettes, says Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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    Special Report: Zimbabwe's Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan

    In early 2022, Zimbabwe announced an ambitious plan to capture more value from its tobacco business. Currently the country earns between $600 million and $1 billion annually from sales of its golden leaf. The worldwide tobacco industry, however, is worth some $850 billion.

    Given that Zimbabwe produces 6 percent of global leaf tobacco, it should be getting at least $50 billion, according to government officials. By increasing cultivation and moving up the value chain, the country aims to create a $5 billion business by 2025.

    Will it work? Tobacco Reporter spoke to the author of the plan, Minister of Agriculture Anxious Masuka, and various stakeholders to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with the project.

    The Man Behind the Plan

    Zimbabwe’s minister of agriculture, Anxious Jongwe Masuka, explains how the country will build a $5 billion tobacco industry by 2025.

    Great Expectations

    Cavendish Lloyd has started growing low-nicotine flue-cured tobacco in Zimbabwe for shisha applications.


    Click on a country to view its latest news from the tobacco and vapor industries.

    In Print


    The Man Behind the Plan

    Zimbabwe’s minister of agriculture, Anxious Jongwe Masuka, explains how the country will build a $5 billion tobacco industry by 2025.

    To Boldly Go

    Tobacco veteran Murray Prince is setting up tobacco operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Seeking Substitutes

    Modern oral nicotine products could help Indian consumers abandon deadly local smokeless tobacco products.

    Safety Valve

    Within a sensible tax regime, fine-cut tobacco works as a fender between cigarettes and the illicit market.

    Broadening the Scope

    Tobacco harm reduction initiatives should also cover e-waste management, say experts.

    Innovation Hub

    Northern Italy provides the perfect business environment for pioneering tobacco companies and their suppliers.

    Tobacco Reporter May 2023

    Tobacco Reporter’s May 2023 issue features a special report on Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan.

    In an exclusive interview, Minister of Agriculture Anxious Masuka explains how the country will boost the crop to 300 million kg and create a $5 billion tobacco business by 2025. Tobacco Reporter also spoke with various stakeholders, including the trade and the scientific community, on the challenges and opportunities associated with such an ambitious undertaking. Will Zimbabwe be able to sell 300 million kg as global cigarette consumption stagnates? And will it be able to achieve the desired volumes in line with customers’ ESG expectations?

    In a three-way discussion, Sudhanshu Patwardhan, John Dunne and Pieter Vorster discuss another environmental concern—that of growing e-waste. To properly address this challenge, the panelists urge stakeholders to expand the definition of tobacco harm reduction to include product lifecycle management.

    Grant Churchill of Oxford University describes the pharmacology of nicotine, a widely misunderstood chemical; Tobacco Reporter’s George Gay profiles a bold new venture by a leaf tobacco veteran in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and our colleague Stefanie Rossel explores efforts to replace India’s “uniquely deadly” variety of smokeless tobaccos with less harmful alternatives.

    Also in this issue: An overview of the roll-your-own tobacco market, which under the proper fiscal conditions, can serve as a buffer against illicit cigarettes.

    Clive Bates

    A regular contributor to Tobacco Reporter, Clive Bates is the director of Counterfactual Consulting and the former director of Action on Smoking and Health (U.K.).

    In this section, we present a selection of his articles.


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