Completing Two Years of Globally Reported Tobacco Industry Interference Monitoring during COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 virus was first reported in Wuhan, Hubei province in China on 31 December 2019. World Health Organization (WHO) formally declared it a pandemic on 11 March 2020. WHO further declared that smokers are more likely to develop severe diseases with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.
Since then, the TobaccoUnmasked team started monitoring “Globally Reported Tobacco Industry Interference during COVID-19 Pandemic”. Initially, it was a single page that was updated on a weekly basis. Later, based on readers’ demand, separate pages were uploaded monthly, summarising the incidents reported in the past month. The pages contained the details of tobacco industry interference in the respective month reported according to the week they occurred and a summary table under three columns; tobacco companies, reported countries and the number of incidents. The most incidents were reported in relation to British American Tobacco (BAT) closely followed by Philip Morris International (PMI). The highest number of incidents were reported from the United States of America (USA) and India.
February 2022 saw the completion of two years of this investigative research initiative and as the impact of COVID-19 fades away, we decided to officially conclude the series. We would like to express our gratitude to the members of our South Asian Regional Centre for Combating Tobacco (SARC-CCT) network (SARC-TAP, SARC-CCT committee, SARC-CCT Fellows) for their immense support and contribution in this initiative. You can visit the pages in our MediaWiki websites www.tobaccounmasked.lk and www.tobaccounmaskedsouth.asia.