In 2011, a health politician from Uganda initiated a draft bill providing a far reaching ban on smoking in public places, an advertising ban at the point of sale as well as the ban of cigarette sale for people aged under 21.
In March 2014, the bill’s initiator received a letter from BAT Uganda announcing to terminate all contracts with tobacco growers in the constituency of the parliament member. To the letter attached were the names of 709 tobacco farmers in the surroundings of Kihihi. One month later, 50 parlamentarians originating from tobacco growing areas were invited to the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, where tobacco lobbyists warned them to sign the tobacco control bill.
BAT has been market leader in Uganda since the time of the British Empire. In 2013, the company had contracts with 18,000 tobacco farmers in the east African country.
The attempts of blackmailing by BAT have been without success: in July 2015 the Ugandan parliament passed one of the strongest tobacco control legislations of the world.
Uganda- BAT’s Tactics to Undermine the Tobacco Control Bill (2015)
The Uganda Tobacco Control Act, 2015 – An assessment of what worked well and what did not (2015)