Join us in monitoring and researching the promotional activities of the global tobacco industry.
"In our opinion, [after taxation] the other two regulatory environment changes that concern the industry the most are homogenous packaging and below-the-counter sales. Both would significantly restrict the industry's ability to promote their products." Morgan Stanley Research (2007)
Australian Universities' policies on not accepting tobacco funding
Tobacco in Australia is regulated through Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation. Legislation covers:
- packaging and labelling requirements;
- advertising and promotion restrictions;
- public smoking bans;
- taxation (excise and business franchise fees)
Australian Legal Cases
See ASH Australia's tobacco litigation webpage for information about the latest cases.
Supreme Court of Victoria Decison: British American Tobacco Australia Limited v Gordon & Ors (No 3)  VSC 619 (24 December 2009)
US Department of Justice BAT Australian Documents Ruling. US DOJ 2004 Mar 30.
Document Destruction and Civil Litigation in Victoria
Professor Peter Sallmann's report on document destruction issued in May 2004, which proposes creating a new criminal offence covering destruction of documents before and after the start of legal proceedings. Sallmann's report was commissioned by the Victorian Attorney General prompted by the McCabe vs British American Tobacco case.
Ellis, Executor of the Estate of Paul Steven Cotton (Dec) v The State of South Australia & Ors  WASC 270
Key recent judgement in Western Australian Supreme Court where evidence about tobacco industry efforts to reassure smokers about their smoking was pivotal in the judgement.
Rolah McCabe Appeal Findings
The case, British American Tobacco Australia Services Limited (BAT) v Cowell (as representing the estate of Rolah Ann McCabe, deceased)  VSCA 197 (6 December 2002) heard in the Supreme Court of Victoria - Court of Appeal.
Evidence of BAT Document Shredding
On 6 December 2002, the Victorian Court of Appeal overturned the earlier decision of Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Eames striking out BAT's defence to Rolah McCabe's claim largely on the basis that BAT had deliberately destroyed thousands of documents to keep them out of the hands of potential plaintiffs. Both before Justice Eames and the Court of Appeal, there was no dispute that thousands of documents had been destroyed - but there was a dispute as to the purpose of destruction. To both courts, BAT denied that its purpose was to keep documents out of the hands of plaintiffs. Justice Eames did not believe BAT. The Court of Appeal did. Neither court had before it evidence given in August 2002 by David Schechter, former President of BAT US, and one of the BAT lawyers mentioned in Justice Eames' judgment as playing an important role in Australia in the early 1990s - evidence given under oath in the US Department of Justice's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Schechter sang a very different tune from that sung by BAT before two Australian courts - on an issue crucial to the resolution of the McCabe case.
Excerpts from Marlene Sharp vs Port Kembla RSL Trial
Transcript excerpts from the Marlene Sharp passive smoking court case (20956/96 - Marlene Sharp (nee Elliott) v Stephen Guinery t/as The Port Kembla Hotel & Ors.)
The excerpts include testimonies from toxicologist Professor Sorell Schwartz, a consultant for the US Tobacco Institute for four years (Schwartz File 1, Schwartz File 2) and Professor Philip Witorsch, the tobacco industry's ETS "expert" witness (Witorsch File 1, Witorsch File 2). The excerpts are subject to Crown Copyright and have been reproduced with permission from the NSW Attorney General's Department: January 2004.
Background: Marlene Sharp, a bar worker at both the Port Kembla Hotel (1972 to 1984) and the Port Kembla RSL club (1984 and 1995) sued her employer for negligence in the NSW Supreme Court claiming environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) (secondhand smoke) caused her throat cancer. The trial extended over 8 weeks, was presided by Justice Peter McClellan and had a four person jury who had to determine whether Marlene Sharp's cancer was caused by exposure to ETS and whether the RSL had failed to provide a safe workplace environment. Marlene Sharp's barrister was Peter Semmler, QC. The verdict was delivered on 2 May 2001, with damages of $306,048 awarded to Marlene Sharp. Port Kembla Hotel settled in 2000, agreeing to pay $160,000. Total damages awarded: $466,048.
Laws Banning Smoking in Vehicles Carrying Children - International Overview produced by the Canadian Cancer Society. A short summary is that laws requiring smoke-free vehicles with children have been adopted in 3 countries (Mauritius, South Africa and Bahrain), 9 Canadian provinces/territories, 4 U.S. states, 6 Australian states, 8 Canadian municipalities, 9 U.S. municipalities, and Puerto Rico.
Tobacco display bans: Philip Morris vs Norway in front of the EFTA Court Commentary about a legal challenge by Philip Morris to Norway's tobacco display ban, a case which could have implications across the EU.
WHO International Digest of Health Legislation (IDHL)
The World Health Organization's IDHL publication is available as an online database. The database contains a selection of national and international health legislation and is searchable by country with links provided to the legislation.
Stephen D. Sugarman, Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley provides a summary of law suits against the tobacco industry.
Tobacco Control Resource Center
The Tobacco Products Liability Project.
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division Litigation Against Tobacco Companies
On September 22, 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit against the major cigarette manufacturers and two industry affiliated organizations. The case is before U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Includes links to the testimony of Nicholas Cannar, who was BATCo's in-house legal head from 1985 to 1991 and then director of legal services from 1996 to 1999 for WD & HO Wills (BATCo's Australian subsidiary). Click here to go to other information relating to tobacco industry litigation. On August 17, 2006 Judge Kessler issued the Final Opinion (1742 pages) and Final Judgment and Remedial Order. Kessler has ordered tobacco manufacturers in the US to buy newspaper ads detailing smoking's health effects and to stop using such descriptions as "low tar," "light," ultra light," "mild" or "natural" that might imply that they are less dangerous than other cigarettes.
Kessler wrote on nicotine addiction (page 654): "over the course of many years, time and again -- and with great self-righteousness -- denied that they manipulated the nicotine in cigarettes so as to increase the addiction and dependence of smokers. Those denials were false."
Conclusions (page 1477): "over the course of approximately fifty years, different Defendants [tobacco manufacturers], at different times, took the following actions in order to maintain their public positions on smoking and disease-related issues, nicotine addiction, nicotine manipulation, and low tar cigarettes, in order to protect themselves from smoking and health related claims in litigation, and in order to avoid regulation which they viewed as harmful: they suppressed, concealed, and terminated scientific research; they destroyed documents including scientific reports and studies; and they repeatedly and intentionally improperly asserted the attorney-client and work product privileges over many thousands of documents (not just pages) to thwart disclosure to plaintiffs in smoking and health related litigation and to federal regulatory agencies, and to shield those documents from the harsh light of day. While it is true that some of these efforts were unsuccessful and some of the elaborate document "retention" policies were either not fully implemented or not implemented at all, the fact remains that many were fully complied with. Consequently, we can never know the full extent of the evidence destroyed and lost to public view."
Kessler wrote (page 1530-31) "over the course of more than 50 years, Defendants lied, misrepresented, and deceived the American public, including smokers and the young people they avidly sought as "replacement smokers," about the devastating health effects of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke, they suppressed research, they destroyed documents, they manipulated the use of nicotine so as to increase and perpetuate addiction, they distorted the truth about low tar and light cigarettes so as to discourage smokers from quitting, and they abused the legal system in order to achieve their goal -- to make money with little, if any, regard for individual illness and suffering, soaring health costs, or the integrity of the legal system."
Tobacco Law Compendium
Funded by Health Canada and sponsored by the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, the Tobacco Law Compendium is a searchable database providing access to Canadian Tobacco Control legislation and policy information. The database also includes a small collection of international court documents as well as a substantial collection of legal/policy tobacco literature of global importance.