British American Tobacco (BAT) Misleading Russian Consumers..

September 11, 2008 - Russia's top health officer, (Director of Rospotrebnadzor [The Federal Consumer Protection and Human Welfare Agency]) Gennady Onishchenko, said Monday (9/8/2008) his governmental agency is suing British American Tobacco's Russian office for misleading the consumers. Onishchenko signed a lawsuit against BAT for "misleading the consumers" and infringing on their rights. In July, Onishchenko launched a ferocious attack on global tobacco companies, threatening them with legal action for "nicotine genocide." He said the corporations were making huge profits at the expense of Russians' health.

According to Euromonitor International, Russia ranks fourth worldwide in annual per capita consumption, with approximately 2,665 cigarettes smoked. Tobacco use kills some 400,000 Russians every year, and the number of Russian smokers is among the highest in the world with more than one-third of the population smoking. Sixty percent of Russian men and up to 30 percent of Russian women smoke.

BAT, one of Russia's leading tobacco companies (with 22 percent of the Russian cigarette market), suggests that Russians' taste for cigarettes is developing rather than declining. Tobacco sales, continue to grow by between 3 and 4 percent per year by volume. BAT International cigarette brands include: Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Kent and Dunhill.

References: Russian officials sue British American Tobacco, The Associated Press - International Herald Tribune, 9/8/2008. September 8, 2008; President Putin Completes Russia’s Ratification of Tobacco Control Treaty, Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 4/25/2008; Russia Edges Closer To Ratifying FCTC, Medical News Today, 1/18/2008.

Russia in April 2008 became the 155th nation to ratify the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.

Related news brief: Russian State Duma (Parliament) ratified the framework convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control..