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Corporate Accountability International: Tobacco Giant Leads in Profits, Addicting Youth
Date:5/5/2009

First Shareholder Meeting Since Split Draws Global Protest

NEW YORK, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With global tobacco deaths climbing above 5.4 million a year, Philip Morris International (PMI) is heralding a 12.7 percent net revenue growth in 2008. Not coincidentally the regions most impacted by the tobacco epidemic are the same "emerging markets" that the corporation credits with driving its growth.

But at the end of PMI's 2008 surge, the international community moved to put a damper on the abuses fueling the corporation's growth - aggressive promotion of addictive and deadly products to children, interference in health policy, and so-called "corporate social responsibility." As part of implementation of the global tobacco treaty, 164 countries adopted landmark guidelines to overcome Big Tobacco's abuses.

"Philip Morris has a long history of interfering in public health policies like the global tobacco treaty," said Kathy Mulvey, International Policy Director for Corporate Accountability International. "But the treaty itself slams the door on such interference, and now that explicit safeguards are spelled out to help countries resist industry tactics, the question remains, 'will Philip Morris finally butt out of public health policy?'"

Corporate Accountability International and its allies used the annual shareholder meeting to challenge PMI to improve on its track record and stop blocking the implementation of the treaty's new guidelines. Protestors marched outside the meeting at the Grand Hyatt to PMI's office at 120 Park Avenue, while Mulvey confronted corporate executives with evidence of its ongoing abuses and a photo petition from 500 people in 65 countries. Similar marches, press conferences, letter campaigns and other activities were also scheduled to take place in more than 20 countries.

"A growing movement of youth advocates worldwide is resisting this corpora
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SOURCE Corporate Accountability International
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