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Imperial Tobacco Group is a British company. It is the fifth largest company participating in the global tobacco market and controls 3.7 percent of the international cigarette market. <ref> Euromonitor International [database on the Internet]. Cigarettes. Euromonitor International; c 2018. </ref> Imperial operates in more than 160 markets, and key growth markets are in Italy, Russia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. {{r|IB_2017_AR}} <ref>Imperial Brands website, [http://www.imperialbrandsplc.com/About-us.html About Us], 2018, Accessed 13 July 2020</ref>  Top brands include West, Davidoff, John Player Special, and Gauloises. <ref> Euromonitor International [database on the Internet]. Cigarettes. Euromonitor International; c 2018. </ref>  In 2016, Imperial Tobacco was the world’s fifth-largest international cigarette company based on market share. <ref name="IB_Statista">Statista, [https://www.statista.com/topics/3221/imperial-brands-plc/ Imperial Brands - Statistics & Facts], Accessed 16 September 2018 </ref>   
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Imperial Tobacco Group is a British company. It is the fifth largest company participating in the global tobacco market and controls 3.7 percent of the international cigarette market. <ref> Euromonitor International [database on the Internet]. Cigarettes. Euromonitor International; c 2018. </ref> Imperial operates in more than 160 markets, and key growth markets are in Italy, Russia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. {{r|IB_2017_AR}} <ref>Imperial Brands website, [www.imperialbrandsplc.com/About-us.html About Us], 2018, Accessed 13 July 2020</ref>  Top brands include West, Davidoff, John Player Special, and Gauloises. <ref> Euromonitor International [database on the Internet]. Cigarettes. Euromonitor International; c 2018. </ref>  In 2016, Imperial Tobacco was the world’s fifth-largest international cigarette company based on market share. <ref name="IB_Statista">Statista, [https://www.statista.com/topics/3221/imperial-brands-plc/ Imperial Brands - Statistics & Facts], Accessed 16 September 2018 </ref>   
 
==Company Overview==
 
==Company Overview==
 
Imperial Brands is a FTSE 100 company headquartered in Bristol in the United Kingdom. Imperial Brands consists of five distinct entities: Imperial Tobacco, Tabacalera, ITG Brands, Fontem Ventures and Logista. <ref name="IB_TransparencyRegister"> Transparency Register, [https://web.archive.org/save/https://ec.europa.eu/transparencyregister/public/consultation/displaylobbyist.do?id=62460931291-40 Imperial Brands PLC], Accessed 10 May 2021 </REF>  
 
Imperial Brands is a FTSE 100 company headquartered in Bristol in the United Kingdom. Imperial Brands consists of five distinct entities: Imperial Tobacco, Tabacalera, ITG Brands, Fontem Ventures and Logista. <ref name="IB_TransparencyRegister"> Transparency Register, [https://web.archive.org/save/https://ec.europa.eu/transparencyregister/public/consultation/displaylobbyist.do?id=62460931291-40 Imperial Brands PLC], Accessed 10 May 2021 </REF>  
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Imperial Brands has recently invested in a cannabis-focused biotech company that is researching how compounds in cannabis can be turned into medicine. <ref>[https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/big-tobacco-pot-weed-cannabis-industry-727407/ Big Tobacco Is Already Eyeing Pot], ''The Rolling Stone'', September 2018, Accessed 28 October 2018</ref> Imperial Brands signed a CAD 123-million investment deal with Auxly Cannabis Group that includes a research and development partnership. <ref>[https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/auxly-cannabis-deal-with-tobacco-giant-imperial-brands-1.5224955 Auxly cannabis deal with tobacco giant imperial brands], ''CBC'', 25 July 2019, Accessed 9 August 2019 </ref> Auxly Cannabis Group announced the closing of a transaction with Imperial Tobacco Group plc in September. Imperial Brands invested CAD 123 million in Auxly. <ref>[https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/19/09/14495594/tobacco-company-imperial-brands-auxly-cannabis-close-on-partnership-92-8m-investment Tobacco Company Imperial Brands, Auxly Cannabis Close On Partnership] ''Benzinga'', 26 September 2019, Accessed 9 October 2019</ref>
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Imperial Brands has recently invested in a cannabis-focused biotech company that is researching how compounds in cannabis can be turned into medicine. <ref>[https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/big-tobacco-pot-weed-cannabis-industry-727407/ Big Tobacco Is Already Eyeing Pot], ''The Rolling Stone'', September 2018, Accessed 28 October 2018</ref> Imperial Brands signed a CAD 123-million investment deal with Auxly Cannabis Group that includes a research and development partnership. <ref>[https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/auxly-cannabis-deal-with-tobacco-giant-imperial-brands-1.5224955 Auxly cannabis deal with tobacco giant imperial brands], ''CBC'', 25 July 2019, Accessed 9 August 2019 </ref> Auxly Cannabis Group announced the closing of a transaction with Imperial Tobacco Group plc in September. Imperial Brands invested CAD 123 million in Auxly. <ref>[https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/19/09/14495594/tobacco-company-imperial-brands-auxly-cannabis-close-on-partnership-92-8m-investment Tobacco Company Imperial Brands, Auxly Cannabis Close On Partnership, ''Benzinga'', $92.8M Investment ], 26 September 2019, Accessed 9 October 2019</ref>
  
 
Tobacco companies have received more than GBP 45 million investment from the United Kingdom's Lincolnshire County Council’s pension fund. The current investment (as of January 2019) for Imperial Brands sits at GBP 4.6 million. <ref>[https://www.granthamjournal.co.uk/news/county-council-invests-45-million-of-its-pension-fund-in-tobacco-companies-9058351/ Lincolnshire County Council invests £45 million from pension fund in tobacco companies], ''Grantham Reporter'', January 5, 2019, Accessed 18 January 2019 </ref>
 
Tobacco companies have received more than GBP 45 million investment from the United Kingdom's Lincolnshire County Council’s pension fund. The current investment (as of January 2019) for Imperial Brands sits at GBP 4.6 million. <ref>[https://www.granthamjournal.co.uk/news/county-council-invests-45-million-of-its-pension-fund-in-tobacco-companies-9058351/ Lincolnshire County Council invests £45 million from pension fund in tobacco companies], ''Grantham Reporter'', January 5, 2019, Accessed 18 January 2019 </ref>
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In May 2019, Imperial conducted a panel meeting of expert facilitators, people development specialists from different stakeholder groups, including retailers, banks, tobacco and vaping consumers, customers, employees, investors, media, non-governmental organisation, tobacco and NGP supplier, non-tobacco material
 
In May 2019, Imperial conducted a panel meeting of expert facilitators, people development specialists from different stakeholder groups, including retailers, banks, tobacco and vaping consumers, customers, employees, investors, media, non-governmental organisation, tobacco and NGP supplier, non-tobacco material
supplier and two experts representing the environment and age-gating certification schemes. The panel meeting resulted in Imperial's Sustainability Strategy. Imperial has identified a number of ESG issues that represent the biggest risks or opportunities for its business: adult choice, business conduct, climate and energy, consumer health, farmer livelihoods and welfare, forestry, health and safety, human rights, illicit trade, recruitment and development, regulation, waste and water. <ref>Imperial website, [https://www.imperialbrandsplc.com/content/dam/imperial-brands/corporate/sustainability/sustainability-documents/stakeholder-engagement.pdf IMPERIAL BRANDS STAKEHOLDER PANEL STATEMENT], pp. 3-4, Accessed 11 March 2020 </ref>
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supplier and two experts representing the environment and age-gating certification schemes. The panel meeting resulted in Imperial's Sustainability Strategy. Imperial has identified a number of ESG issues that represent the biggest risks or opportunities for its business: adult choice, business conduct, climate and energy, consumer health, farmer livelihoods and welfare, forestry, health and safety, human rights, illicit trade, recruitment and development, regulation, waste and water. <ref>Imperial website, [https://www.imperialbrandsplc.com/content/dam/imperial-brands/corporate/sustainability/sustainability-documents/stakeholder-engagement.pdf IMPERIAL BRANDS STAKEHOLDER PANEL STATEMENT], p. 3-4, Accessed 11 March 2020 </ref>
  
 
In May 2014, Guardian reported Imperial Tobacco Group was amongst the companies purchasing tobacco grown in the United States. According to Guardian, these companies current approaches 'did not sufficiently protect children from hazardous work and some companies allow for lower standards of protection for children in their US supply chain than for children working on tobacco farms in other countries'.<ref>[https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/14/tobacco-farm-child-labor-laws Cigarette makers can't market to kids. Why do tobacco farms employ them?], ''Guardian'', May 2014, Accessed 27 September 2018 </ref>
 
In May 2014, Guardian reported Imperial Tobacco Group was amongst the companies purchasing tobacco grown in the United States. According to Guardian, these companies current approaches 'did not sufficiently protect children from hazardous work and some companies allow for lower standards of protection for children in their US supply chain than for children working on tobacco farms in other countries'.<ref>[https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/14/tobacco-farm-child-labor-laws Cigarette makers can't market to kids. Why do tobacco farms employ them?], ''Guardian'', May 2014, Accessed 27 September 2018 </ref>
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===Marketing to Kids===
 
===Marketing to Kids===
  
A 2018 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids investigation into over 100 social media campaigns by [[Philip Morris International]], [[British American Tobacco]], [[Japan Tobacco International]] and Imperial Brands revealed tobacco companies pay social media influencers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to advertise their products. <ref>Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, [https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/press-releases/2018_08_27_ftc PRESS RELEASE New Investigation Exposes How Tobacco Companies Market Cigarettes on Social Media in the U.S. and Around the World], August 2018, Accessed 31 October 2018 </ref>
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a 2018 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids investigation into over 100 social media campaigns by [[Philip Morris International]], [[British American Tobacco]], [[Japan Tobacco International]] and Imperial Brands revealed tobacco companies pay social media influencers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to advertise their products. <ref>Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, [https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/press-releases/2018_08_27_ftc PRESS RELEASE New Investigation Exposes How Tobacco Companies Market Cigarettes on Social Media in the U.S. and Around the World], August 2018, Accessed 31 October 2018 </ref>
  
 
An investigation exposing how tobacco companies market cigarettes on social media around the world revealed Imperial Tobacco products were seen near schools in 22 countries. Despite the findings a spokesman for Imperial Brands said the company ensures:
 
An investigation exposing how tobacco companies market cigarettes on social media around the world revealed Imperial Tobacco products were seen near schools in 22 countries. Despite the findings a spokesman for Imperial Brands said the company ensures:

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