Reemstma is a major German tobacco company acquired by the UK Imperial tobacco group in 2002. Until that time it had been a family-owned company controlled through the firm Tchibo.
It has been the leading cigarette marketing firm in the Ukraine and it has strong sales in Russia, Hungary, Slovakia and Kyrgyzstan. Its brands include West, Davidoff and Peter Stuyvesant, and it was selling 130bn cigarettes in 100 countries in 2002. In 2003, it was reported that the company had been raided by police and some of the directors were charged with cigarette smuggling and breaches of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. However these charges appear to have been dropped.
Reemtsma has always taken a tough line on the issue of smoking and health. The company claims that smoking is not technically addictive, and their lobbyists say that smoking is simply a "risk factor" in lung cancer and heart disease. They still maintain the simplistic-purist position that there is "no evidence that smoking is the cause of disease in any individual case" -- a position long abandoned by the other tobacco companies.
During the 1980s and 1990s Reemstma was the major European-controlled tobacco company which joined forces with Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and British-American tobacco in many of their scientific scams and disinformation campaigns, and they also took a lead in the foundation of organisations like ICOSI and INFOTAB.