The use of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a political tool: A case study of tobacco industry in Swabi Pakistan




politics of tobacco, corporate social responsibility, tobacco companies, tobacco industry, tobacco business


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is perceived as a major component of contemporary business policies. It is considered as a significant tool for business promotion and survival in the 21st century. The ideas of CSR (Welfare) and the business model, tobacco companies create a contradictory concept as it kills one-half of its chain users. Tobacco companies are strictly prohibited by international and local laws from the promotion of their products. In order to cope up with such strict laws, they start social initiatives. Hence, they take help from the idea of CSR.  Through CSR they earned a soft image and entered in politics to influence public policy in their favour. This paper is an effort to discuss the real situation behind CSR initiatives of tobacco industry in Pakistan. Annual reports of Philip Morris Pakistan and Pakistan tobacco Company are analysed. Interviews of local companies’ owners or officials, research papers, newspaper articles and related sites have been investigated to get the conclusion. Resultantly, this paper emphasizes on the CSR regulations and centralization. The findings also indicate that tobacco money is directly and indirectly used in politics in the form of CSR.


Metrics Loading ...


Ahmed, N. (2015). The scenario behind the CSR activities of the tobacco companies in Bangladesh: a review on a smoky truth. DU Journal of Marketing, 16(1), 181-191.

Al Arabi & Ball, K. (1992). Tobacco: A major challenge for the developing world. Tropical Doctor, 22(1), 1-2. DOI:

Barnard, C. (1938). The functions of the executive. Harvard University.

Burki, S. J., Pasha, A. G., Pasha, H. A., John, R., Jha, P., Baloch, A., Cherukupalli, R., Chalupka, F. J. (2013). The economics of tobacco and tobacco taxation in Pakistan.

Chavez, J. J., Drop, J., Lencucha, R., & McGrady, B. (2014). The political economy of tobacco control in the Philippines: Trade, foreign direct investment and taxation. Quezon City: Action for Economic Reform, American Cancer Society.

Cox, H. (2000). The global cigarette: Origins and evolution of British American Tobacco, 1880-1945. Oxford University.

Ellen, P. S., Webb, D. J., & Mohr, L. A. (2006). Building corporate associations: Consumer attributions for corporate socially responsible programs. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 34, 147-157. DOI:

Givel, M. S., & Glantz, S. A. (2001). Tobacco lobby political influence on US state legislatures in the 1990s. Tobacco Control, 10(2), 124-134. DOI:

Hastings, G. & Angus, K. (2004). The influence of the tobacco industry on European Tobacco-control policy. Tobacco or health in the European Union past, present and future. Luxembourg: The ASPECT Consortium, European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection, 195-215.

Jha, P., & Chaloupka, F. J. (2000). Tobacco control in developing countries. Oxford University.

Khan, M.A. (1996). Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) and its contribution towards tobacco crop. Pakistan Tobacco, 20(1-2).

Maslow, A. (1943). Theory of human nature. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-396. DOI:

Ministry of Commerce. (2016). Tobacco statistical bulletin (2016-17). Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB).

Morley, C. P., Cummings, K. M., Hyland, A., Giovino, G. A., & Horan, J. K. (2002). Tobacco institute lobbying at the state and local levels of government in the 1990s. Tobacco Control, 11(1), 102-109. DOI:

Nayab, D. M. Nasir, M., Memon, J. A., Khalid, M and Hussain, A. (2018). The Economics of Tobacco and Consumption in Pakistan. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad (PIDE), Islamabad.

Philip Morris Pakistan. (2020, June 6).

Rizwan, M. S. (2017). Empirical investigations on the wealth protection function of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Doctoral dissertation, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan.

Runhaar, H., & Lafferty, H. (2009). Governing corporate social responsibility: An assessment of the contribution of the UN Global Compact to CSR strategies in the telecommunications industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(4), 479-495. DOI:

Saloojee, Y., & Dagli, E. (2000). Tobacco industry tactics for resisting public policy on health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 78, 902-910.

Simms, J. (2006). The political economy of the tobacco industry. Appalachian State University.

Sunny, T.A. (2015). A report on CSR activities of British American Tobacco Bangladesh, United International University, Dhaka.

Watts, P. (2000). Corporate Social Responsibility: Making good business sense. World Business Council for Sustainable Development.



How to Cite

Iqbal, J., Hussain, S., & Khan, K. (2021). The use of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a political tool: A case study of tobacco industry in Swabi Pakistan. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 5(1), 497–509.