BAT Marketing Tobacco Products Using Text Messaging..

October 14, 2008 - In a move that anti-smoking lobbyists say is in direct violation of the law (South African Tobacco Products Control Act), Dunhill - a product of British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa - has sent out mass Short Messages Sevice) SMS (SMS is used to send text meaages to mobile phones) to people promoting its new "limited-edition range". (Dunhill - 100th anniversary celebrations, has seen the launch of a range of limited-edition blends.)

BAT is trying to flout South Africa's tough anti-smoking laws, which have been designed to discourage people from picking up the habit.

Dr Yussuf Salojee, the South African executive director of the National Council Against Smoking - "I think the SMS is indicative of the desperate need of the tobacco companies to addict young people, and they will break the law to continue to profit from selling an addictive drug. The tobacco companies might be using this advertising strategy because they believed people would not report them. But we will lay a charge with the police. This is the first I heard of it, and if more people come forward with this complaint, we will definitely go to the police."

Salojee urged people who had received the SMS to contact the National Council Against Smoking on 011-720-3145 so that they could build a substantial case before going to the police.

Reference: Tobacco SMS sparks outcry by Lee Rondganger,, 10/13/2008.