Addicted to Profit: Big Tobacco's Expanding Global Reach

By Ross Hammond

Acknowledgments & Author/Publisher Information

The author would like to thank the following people for their assistance and/or comments:

Clive Bates, John Bloom, Doug Cogan, Donna Colvin, Emily Harris, Margaret Harris, Norma Harris, Susana Hennessey-Toure, Christopher Jenkins, Ralph Leviton, Judith Mackay, Lisa Peterson, Mary Purcell, Yussuf Saloojee, Mele Smith, Scott Thompson, Robert Weissman, Anna White, Amy Wilson, Derek Yach and David Zaridze.

Mary Purcell wrote the Vietnam, Senegal and South Africa case studies, and assisted with the China case study.

Addicted to Profit: Big Tobacco's Expanding Global Reach

(c) 1998 All Rights Reserved

Published by Essential Action, a project of

Essential Information
P.O. Box 19405
Washington, D.C. 20036

Cover photo by Miguel Salguero

Paid for in part by Proposition 99, the 1988 California Tobacco Tax Initiative, under contract 89-97927.

Ross Hammond

Ross Hammond, a San Francisco-based economist, is a partner in Hammond & Purcell Consulting, a policy, research and advocacy firm. He wrote this report while working as a consultant to the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Tobacco Free Project and the San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition. Contact Ross Hammond at:

Essential Action

Essential Action is a Ralph Nader-founded corporate accountability group. Spurred by spring 1997 reports of a pending deal between state attorneys general and the tobacco industry that would effectively provide legal immunity to the tobacco industry and free it to intensify its international campaign to addict children and adults to the deadly smoking habit, Essential Action launched its Taking on Tobacco project. Since then, Essential Action has become one of the leading U.S. advocacy organizations working on international tobacco control.

Essential Action organized a sign-on letter, endorsed by the world's leading tobacco control advocates outside of the United States, condemning a "global" tobacco settlement that only contained tobacco control measures for the United States. In December 1997, Essential Action joined with a bipartisan group of public officials and tobacco control advocates to craft an international tobacco control legislative package. Essential Action has also worked to educate the U.S. public on the importance of international tobacco control measures, disseminating widely fact sheets, articles and a reader on international tobacco issues.

For more information on Essential Action's activities, visit <>.

The San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition

The San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition, a grassroots coalition of health, youth-serving, and environmental agencies, has successfully advocated for several tobacco control ordinances in San Francisco. These include a ban on cigarette vending machines; a ban on tobacco and alcohol advertising on City property; the creation of smokefree worksites and restaurants; a ban on tobacco self-service displays; and, most recently, severely limiting tobacco advertising in publicly visible locations including storefronts and billboards.

However the Coalition has become acutely aware that while many regulations have been enacted in the United States on the local, state, and national level, the U.S. tobacco industry has shifted its focus to international markets to ensure its growth and profits. Given the behavior of the tobacco industry both here and abroad, the Coalition believes that the United States has a moral imperative to require that the U.S. tobacco companies adhere, at a minimum, to the same legal and regulatory standards internationally as they do domestically.

The Coalition has developed a Global Tobacco Control Policy Framework which identifies actions to take on a local level to address the global impact of tobacco. Over the past year the Coalition has been putting that Framework into action. The Coalition has successfully advocated for the SF Employers Retirement System to divest of its tobacco holdings, for the passage of a City and County a resolution opposing the June 1997 "Global Settlement," for the passage of a City and County resolution calling for the U.S. tobacco companies to be held to the same standards internationally as nationally, and for the passage of a City and County resolution supporting the passage of HR 2135, The International Responsibility Act of 1997.

For more information, visit <>.

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