• June 21, 2024

STOP Adds to Industry Allies Database

 STOP Adds to Industry Allies Database
Photo: courtyardpix

STOP, a tobacco industry watchdog, has added 25 organizations from 12 countries to its Industry Allies database. Organizations on the list are categorized as front groups, “astroturf” groups or third parties that promote the tobacco industry’s agenda while appearing to be independent.

“This update provides further evidence that the tobacco industry uses different types of organizations to build influence. They range from traditional allies like farmers’ groups and retailers’ associations, whose members have a vested interest in the sale of the industry’s products, to groups promoting the industry’s electronic products,” said Phil Chamberlain, deputy director of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, a partner in STOP, in a statement. “The common factor is shared interest, with tobacco companies as founders, funders, members or sources of revenue.”

STOP has added 135 groups across 33 countries since the database launched in 2019. The update includes organizations that focus on countries with some of the highest rates of smoking and largest populations, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. Colombia is newly represented on the list.

Many of the newly added groups promote the industry’s newer nicotine and tobacco products; four are associations of grocers, news agents and convenience stores that sell the industry’s products; several position themselves as representing the interests of tobacco farmers, and three are Chambers of Commerce or business groups, according to STOP.