Manipulating public perception in Africa

How do tobacco companies manipulate public perception?

Putting their best foot forward

One lesson the tobacco industry learnt very early was that public opinion matters.

Despite the millions of lives that are lost each year as a result of smoking, the tobacco industry invests in various programmes and social causes to deflect the attention from the negative impact of their brands.

By using corporate social responsibility or social investment, tobacco companies present themselves as responsible members of society.

But research across the world into internal tobacco industry documents shows that the tobacco industry uses these investments to generate good publicity and deflects attention from tobacco as a health hazard.