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Tobacco industry presence and practices in Mozambique: a ‘chaotic’ but worthy market
  1. Nicole Nguenha1,
  2. Stella Bialous2,
  3. Joaquim Matavel3,
  4. Raphael Lencucha4
  1. 1 Family Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada
  2. 2 Center for Tobacco Control, UCSF, San Francisco, California, USA
  3. 3 Mental Health Department, Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique
  4. 4 School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Raphael Lencucha, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; raphael.lencucha{at}


Background Mozambique has experienced a series of tobacco industry consolidations both in tobacco leaf buying and processing, and in cigarette manufacturing and marketing. The growth of the tobacco industry presence in Mozambique was followed by an increase in tobacco industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. This is the first paper to describe the history of tobacco industry activities in Mozambique, a party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Methods We reviewed industry documents and associated web-based information. Industry documents (1990–2021) were identified through University of California San Francisco’s Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library. We followed with a search of web-based sources pertaining to the tobacco industry in Mozambique. We complemented our analysis with select media sources to identify statements by government officials in relation to the tobacco industry. We mapped major tobacco industry players, industry partnerships and corresponding CSR activities.

Results Tobacco production increased substantially in Mozambique in the 1990s when tobacco companies began targeting African countries. The increased attention to tobacco production, trade and sales in Mozambique was coupled with greater industry involvement in CSR activities. We identified 10 tobacco industry CSR programmes in Mozambique. Most of the CSR programmes focus on health including HIV/AIDS, social issues and environmental issues.

Conclusions Similar to other tobacco-growing countries, the industry facilitated an increase in tobacco production and continues efforts to increase the tobacco consumption market while engaging in CSR activities focused on social and environmental issues. As in other countries, CSR initiatives in Mozambique enhance industry’s reputation. Importantly, these CSR programmes and partnerships breach national laws and the provisions of the FCTC. The continuation of these programmes suggests limited attention within government to protect public policy from industry interference in compliance with Article 5.3 of the FCTC.

  • low/middle income country
  • public policy
  • tobacco industry
  • tobacco industry documents

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  • Contributors NN, RL and SB designed the study. NN conducted the document searches with the guidance of SB and RL. All authors contributed to drafting the manuscript and subsequent revisions. RL accepts full responsibility for the finished work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish.

  • Funding This study was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Grant number: PJT166086).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.