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Hungarian health advocates have been shocked to learn that the roots put down in their country by BAT go even deeper than they previously suspected. It was already well known that BAT dominated commercial life in the southern city of Pécs, where it bought its way into a commanding position in central Europe by snapping up a major tobacco production plant after Hungary moved to a market economy. BAT had also not been shy to publicise its sponsorship of many parts of the local infrastructure, from the local theatre to a health clinic, and even a homeless person’s hostel with the unsubtle name of BAT Ház (BAT House). Not surprisingly, BAT enjoys loyal support from civic leaders who fail to understand the poisonous longer term effects of such support on the health of the people whose interests they represent, with even some doctors shrugging off the association as, on balance, something to be grateful for.
In December, it emerged that BAT has …
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