More than 70,000 annual deaths are attributable to tobacco use in Burma, and the return of global cigarette manufacturers to a largely unregulated market suggests that the country faces an impending tobacco‐related disease epidemic, according to the Asian Correspondent.
British American Tobacco (BAT), which announced its return to Burma in July 2013 following reforms to the country’s political, economic, and social systems, has emphasised the benefits of its new $50 million manufacturing operation. Confronted with the false choice between health and economic wellbeing, Burma’s policymakers have apparently opted for the second of these options.
But potential investors, as well as international governments and civil society, are uneasy about recent events. Burma Campaign UK, a key actor in the previous campaign that led BAT and other companies to quit the market, is considering reviving its “Dirty List” of companies directly or indirectly linked to human rights violations.