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Philip Morris International Spin-off Should Spur Nations to Take Urgent Action to Reduce Tobacco Use
Date:1/29/2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued today by Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

The expected spin-off of Philip Morris International as a separate company, and the company's predatory plans to market an even greater variety of deadly and addictive products around the world, should set off global alarms and spur nations to urgently implement proven measures to reduce tobacco use and save lives. Nations are in a race against time to stop a global tobacco epidemic that will kill one billion people worldwide this century unless urgent action is taken. Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies are moving relentlessly to exploit new markets and find new customers for their deadly products, especially in developing nations. Governments must act even more quickly and aggressively to protect the health of their citizens.

Parent company Altria on Wednesday is expected to announce the exact timing of the Philip Morris International spin-off. Financial analysts view the spin-off as an effort to escape greater public scrutiny and legal and public health constraints in the United States and other developed nations, where smoking rates have been declining, and to aggressively target developing nations.

It is especially disturbing that Philip Morris International, as reported today by The Wall Street Journal, is planning to introduce a barrage of new tobacco products that are aimed at specific countries and markets and in some cases are deliberately designed to circumvent efforts to reduce tobacco use. One new cigarette undermines laws requiring smoke-free workplaces and public places by providing a quicker way to get a nicotine hit, while others use fancier packaging to get around marketing restrictions. Philip Morris International is also reported to be planning to introduce more sweet-flavored products, a tactic that tobacco industry documents reveal has long b
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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