No smoke screens for the largest tobacco companies: Your contribution to Russia’s war of aggression is obvious!
On August 24, the Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention added two of the world’s leading tobacco companies — Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International — to the list of ‘international sponsors of war’.
The Japanese-Swiss tobacco giant JTI made an enormous $7.4 billion in revenue in 2022, $1.5 billion more than in the previous year. It also paid $193 million in profit tax to the Kremlin!
But JTI was not the largest profit taxpayer in 2022. Its competitor, Phillip Morris, the seller of Marlboro, Bond, and L&M cigarettes, generated $7.9 billion in revenue, paying $206 million in profit tax to the Kremlin and indirectly funding Russia’s brutal war of aggression.
Philip Morris said in February this year that it would “rather keep” its business in Russia than sell it for less than what it’s worth.
The Russian market has traditionally been lucrative for tobacco companies as it has a relatively high smoking rate. When all duties are considered, tobacco companies have also been some of the highest taxpayers paying around $7.8 billion a year before the war. In 2020, for instance, Japan Tobacco International paid $3.6 billion in taxes.