British American Tobacco

Profile

Summary

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.

Products

cigarettes, cigars, nicotine pouches

Violations

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
23
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.

Stories

Article Archive

Smoke and Mirrors in Bangladesh

Published by
Think Global Health
|
By
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
OCCRP
|
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

 

Activism

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
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.

Financials

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
LSE: BAT, NYSE: BTI, JSE: BTI, KN: BAT
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.

Procurement

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

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