Growing Pressure on Tobacco Companies to ‘Pay for the Damage they Do’

Author: talkhealth

Date: Feb 2016

A charity set up by the Royal College of Physicians called Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has joined more than 120 health organizations including Cancer Research UK in backing an initiative to make tobacco companies accountable for the harm they cause to UK citizens, and to ‘Cough Up’ money to redress that harm and work to prevent future smoking-related death and disease in the future.

The campaign is ultimately aimed at lobbying the UK government to impose a tax on tobacco companies to pay for research and services that will help people stop smoking and monitor and control tobacco circulation. It also aims, though, to take tobacco companies to task for the amount of tax they are currently paying.

Corporation tax in the UK is, at the time of writing, set at 20%. As an example, though, the charity claims that the tobacco multinationals Imperial Tobacco Group PLC and British American Tobacco PLC paid £6 million and nothing at all in tax respectively in the 2013 financial year – a year during which Imperial reported £623 million in profits in the UK, and BAT are estimated to have earned at least £78 million in UK profits.

Source: Action on Smoking and Health news release of 25 January 2016

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Last revised: 8 February 2016

Next review: 8 February 2019