It's a battle for the hearts and, um, lungs, as cigarette makers seek out new markets overseas, only to be thwarted by ever-tightening tobacco restrictions, finds the New York Times. Big firms like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco are fighting tough ad guidelines, larger package warnings, and tax hikes everywhere from Britain to Latin America, the Times notes.
“They’re using litigation to threaten low- and middle-income countries," says a World Health Organization rep. But it is the companies, not countries, that are increasingly on the defensive in court, the Times notes. The regulatory environment is getting stricter, with reps from 178 nations this week looking to carve out a global anti-smoking treaty. “We all know the real objective here is to eliminate tobacco consumption,” says the president of the International Tobacco Growers’ Association.