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The Tobacco Industry in the Time of COVID-19: Time to Shut it Down?

Published time: 06 April 2020

Authors: Marita Hefler, Coral E Gartner

Keywords: Economy, tobacco, Covid-19


The COVID-19 pandemic which originated in China in late 2019 has spread rapidly and taken much of the world by surprise, creating a health and economic emergency likely to have significant impacts for many years. The magnitude of the threat has forced both governments and businesses to urgently elevate public health above economic principles, adapt and reinvent in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease. Business closures have created sudden and widespread unemployment. Nationalisation of industries such as private healthcare and airlines has happened, or is being considered. Governments are pumping money into their economies through stimulus packages and income support, where previously austerity was the order of the day. In the private sector, car makers are pivoting to making medical equipment, alcohol companies are manufacturing hand sanitiser and digital transformation across many sectors is being fast-tracked, among other examples of business adaptation.

The tobacco industry in the time of COVID-19 time to shut it down



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