The Philip Morris tobacco company is hiring former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a nonsmoker, for $1 million to serve as its international political consultant, the Sunday Times said.
The paper said Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, will seek her advice "on controversial issues, including the penetration of tobacco markets in Eastern Europe and the Third World."
"She will be asked to help resist attempts to ban tobacco advertising in the European Community and to fight cigarette taxes and state-run tobacco monopolies," the Sunday Times said.
No one from Philip Morris was available for comment Saturday.
The Sunday Times quoted Thatcher's London office as saying she would act as "an ad-hoc consultant on geopolitical issues."
Asked if Thatcher had considered a backlash from the anti-smoking lobby, an unidentified spokesman said: "I don't think Lady Thatcher would get involved in anything that was in any way improper."
The Sunday Times said health campaigners and some lawmakers were angered at the deal.