British American Tobacco



British American Tobacco is a tobacco company whose roots stretch back to tobacco sales in 1786. It is now the largest tobacco company in the world. Despite the fact that the company's own internal research showed that tobacco causes cancer, the company continued to deny this fact as recently as the 1980s. Documents leaked from Brown & Williamson (the U.S. subsidiary of British American Tobacco) in 1994 conclusively exposed “the three big lies” of the tobacco industry that 'cigarettes don’t cause cancer, nicotine is not addictive and we don’t market to kids.' Later Jeffrey Wigand, a former research executive at Brown & Williamson, blew the whistle on how the company had added chemicals like ammonia to increase the effect of nicotine in cigarettes.


cigarettes, cigars, nicotine pouches


Top 5 Offense Groups (Groups Defined)Penalty TotalNumber of Records
safety-related offenses$310,363,72017
financial offenses$95,0001
employment-related offenses$77,9003
environment-related offenses$31,2502

(April 8, 2021) 

Number of Records
Total Penalties
$310,567,870 (April 8, 2021)
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.


Article Archive

Como a bancada do fumo virou defensora dos “vapes” no Congresso

Published by
Agência Pública
Laura Scofield, Rafael Oliveira, Bianca Feifel

Os dispositivos eletrônicos para fumar (DEFs) são a nova aposta da bancada do fumo no Congresso. Oficialmente, os parlamentares se dizem representantes dos fumicultores e de outros trabalhadores da cadeia produtiva do tabaco envolvidos no plantio e processamento do fumo.

Read more

Como a indústria do tabaco pressiona a Anvisa para vender vapes

Published by
Agência Pública
Rafael Oliveira, Laura Scofield, Bianca Feifel

Na porta de qualquer balada nas grandes cidades brasileiras, é quase certa a presença de algum vendedor ambulante oferecendo, por preços módicos, alguma opção de cigarro eletrônico, com cores e sabores variados.

Read more

Smoke and Mirrors in Bangladesh

Published by
Think Global Health
Bungon Ritthiphakdee

hat are the end-products of undue corporate influence over public policy and decision-making that tip the scale of power away from governments and the people in favor of private interests? Government systems that benefit specific industries above their citizen’s own well-being.

Read more

British American Tobacco Fights Dirty In West Africa

Published by
Aisha Kehoe Down (OCCRP), CENOZO, Gaston Sawadogo (L'Evenement), and Tom Stocks (OCCRP)

Billions of cigarettes, most made by BAT, are smuggled north through Mali every year on their way to the gray markets of the Sahel and Northern Africa.

Read more
Videos & Podcasts
Tobacco farmers protest over mistreatment by B.A.T company
British American Tobacco targeting African Children with cigarettes
Protest outside the British American Tobacco AGM



Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
Over 125 Organizations Call on Social Media Companies to End All Tobacco Advertising, Including by Paid Influencers

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids | May 22, 2019

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is joining more than 125 public health and other organizations from 48 countries in calling on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to immediately end the promotion of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and all other tobacco products on their platforms, including prohibiting the use of social media influencers.

Big Tobacco’s Big Profits #ActOnTobacco

Action on Smoking and Health | April 14, 2019

Today marks the start of a campaign by ASH and our partners, highlighting how Big Tobacco’s big profits continue to be built on a lethal trade and shady dealings.

Demands to divest government shares in British American Tobacco

Dhaka Tribune | October 30, 2016

The leaders of the protest urged that the government withdraw from the company and discourage investment in a sector that is harmful to human health.

Major Investigations
& Lawsuits
Malawi farmers’ lawsuit says child labor fuels tobacco profits

Africa Times | December 21, 2020

A group of tobacco farmers in Malawi have filed a claim in British courts, alleging that years of worker exploitation and child labor violations are among the real reasons for why two tobacco firms have been so profitable.

British American Tobacco accused of bribing senior politicians in order to sabotage anti-smoking laws

Jonathan Owen | The Independent | November 30, 2019

British American Tobacco, one of Britain’s biggest companies, has been accused of bribing senior politicians and civil servants in a bid to sabotage anti-smoking laws.

In landmark case, Brazil sues top tobacco firms to recover public health costs

Reuters | May 22, 2019

Brazil is suing the world’s largest cigarette makers, British American Tobacco Plc and Philip Morris International, in a landmark case aimed at recovering the public health treatment costs of tobacco-related diseases over the last five years.

British American Tobacco is drawn into Israeli damages claim

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich | BMJ | November 12, 2005

British American Tobacco (BAT) has been added by the Jerusalem district court as a defendant in a multibillion dollar lawsuit over compensation for damage to members of Israel's largest health maintenance organisation.

Behind the mask: The real face of corporate social responsibility

Christian Aid | January 20, 2004

We have lived so long at the mercy of uncontrolled economic forces, that we have become skeptical about any plan for human emancipation.

Exposed: How billions of cigarettes end up on black markets

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists | January 31, 2000

WASHINGTON, January 31, 2000 — More than 11,000 pages of documents from BAT and its subsidiaries, including the U.S. company Brown & Williamson, were analyzed over a six-month period by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a project of the Center for Public Integrity in ...

Employment Practices
BAT faces landmark legal case over Malawi families' poverty wages

Sarah Boseley | The Guardian | October 31, 2019

Human rights lawyers are preparing to bring a landmark case against British American Tobacco on behalf of hundreds of children and their families forced by poverty wages to work in conditions of grueling hard labour in the fields of Malawi.

Tobacco whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand goes on the record about ‘The Insider’

Bryan Renbaum | Baltimore Post Examiner | May 10, 2015

Baltimore Post-Examiner interviewed Jeffrey S. Wigand P.h. D., former Vice President of Research & Development for Brown & Williamson (Reynolds American Inc.) from 1989-93.  Today, Wigand, 72, teaches and lectures around the world and works as a consultant for various tobacco issues.


Corporate Headquarters
4 Temple Place, Temple, London WC2R 2PG, United Kingdom
Most Recent Gross Revenue
$33.042 billion (2019) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
$7.283 billion (2019) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers

Note: Most recent list is not always the most complete list.

Croctail Subsidiary Tool using the CorpWatch API - This API uses automated parsers to extract the subsidiary relationship information from Exhibit 21 of companies' 10-K filings with the SEC.

Major Shareholders

Click here for the latest list.

Political Influence Profile of British American Tobacco

Open Secrets Logo
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details of subsidies received by British American Tobacco.
Tax Havens
& Evasion
British American Tobacco issued with £900m Dutch tax bil

Simon Goodley | The Guardian | September 20, 2019

British American Tobacco is being pursued by the Dutch authorities for £902m in unpaid taxes, as the maker of Rothmans, Dunhill and Lucky Strike cigarettes stands accused of avoiding tax on money channelled through the Netherlands.

BAT shifts nearly $1bn out of developing countries into one UK office

Tax Justice Network | April 30, 2019

For every dollar British American Tobacco (BAT) paid in tax in the countries it operates in, the giant multinational shifted more than half a dollar that would have been taxed locally to a UK subsidiary where BAT paid almost no tax.

Ashes to ashes: How British American Tobacco avoids taxes in low and middle income countries

Andres Knobel | Tax justice Network | April 20, 2019

Are tobacco companies making a fair tax contribution to the societies where their activities cause the greatest human and economic costs? We have looked at British American Tobacco.



CorpWatch is still gathering procurement data for British American Tobacco at this time. 

* indicates required