Dunhill Early Morning Pipe Tobacco, 1990’s Murray. Credit: Sjschen/Wikipedia

The global tobacco industry has aggressively lobbied governments during the COVID-19 pandemic to expand markets and blunt measures designed to curb their business, a report from watchdog groups aligned with the World Health Organization claimed on Tuesday.

A ranking of 57 countries based on their willingness to keep Big Tobacco at bay puts Japan and Indonesia at the bottom of the list, with Romania, China and Lebanon among the 10 worst offenders.

The United States is the lowest-ranked Western nation, with Malaysia, Spain, Germany and India also seen as too accommodating,