Big tobacco companies advertise at school gates — The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (en-GB)

According to data released by the Peruvian government in 2017, the average age a person in the country starts smoking is 13 years old.

Previous attempts to ban tobacco advertising in Peru have met with resistance. “The tobacco industry deployed its full arsenal of influence and lobbying to prevent advertising from being banned,” said Delgado, who first proposed the initiative in 2011.

A 2020 investigation by the Bureau found that PMI was advertising cigarettes outside of schools in Indonesia. The company later said it does not allow outdoor advertising for its cigarette brands within 100 meters of schools.

A BAT spokesperson told the Bureau that its products and marketing are not designed to “engage or attract” minors, in accordance with its internal guidelines and local laws and regulations. “We make it clear to retailers that our products are for adults only,” they said.

A PMI spokesperson said the company “is clear that young people should not use any products containing tobacco or nicotine” and is working “to prevent our marketing and products from reaching this audience”.

They added: “We are working with a broad group of stakeholders on this issue, including independent retailers and governments. We monitor compliance – including from third-party vendors – and report publicly on our progress annually.

When shown the results, they said: ‘PMI is investigating all potential breaches of our global marketing practices and, if verified, we will ensure that corrective action is taken.’

Additional reporting by Xilena Pinedo

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