The smokescreen of tobacco industry's social responsibility strategies
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German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Laura Graen   

German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A37
Most countries in the European region still allow corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of the tobacco industry1. Throughout the region, tobacco companies and related entities engage in disaster relief, social welfare, cultural and environmental projects. They manage to involve policymakers and governmental institutions in their activities, build relationships with non-governmental actors and achieve media coverage. In 2020 to 2022, Philip Morris International alone spent USD42 million on donations in the European region2. CSR strategies are central to the tobacco industry’s (and other harmful industries’) business model as part of their reputational management practices3. They enhance legitimacy and credibility towards the public, consumers and policymakers. Tobacco corporations use CSR to gain access to policymakers at all levels and across various government sections. Furthermore, CSR projects are a way to polish up their public reputation and divert attention away from their deadly products and practices. They also aim at influencing norms and promoting voluntary solutions as opposed to statutory regulation. This presentation will give examples from various European countries and industry actors. It aims at raising awareness of corporate strategies and counter-strategies, including regulatory opportunities and FCTC guidelines.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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