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

een used to mask the harshness of tobacco products and make them more appealing to new users, especially children. Marlboro Mix 9, a cigarette the company introduced last year in Indonesia, is reported to expose smokers to higher levels of toxic tar and addictive nicotine.

While Philip Morris International proudly touts these moves as business decisions that will boost its bottom line, many countries and families around the world will pay a high price in more death and disease and higher health care costs. These actions shatter the illusion that Altria and the Philip Morris companies have sought to foster in the United States and other countries that they are responsible companies.

To protect their citizens from the predatory practices of Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies, nations should quickly and effectively implement the scientifically proven measures called for by the international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. To date, 152 nations have ratified the treaty. Nations should:

-- Increase tobacco taxes.

-- Ban all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorships and misleading cigarette descriptions such as "light" and "low-tar."

-- Require large, graphic health warnings on tobacco products.

-- Enact 100 percent smoke-free laws that apply to all workplaces and public places and protect all nonsmokers from secondhand smoke.

-- Fund and implement effective tobacco public education and cessation programs.

The relentless pursuit of new markets and customers by Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies is a primary reason why the tobacco epidemic is exploding around the world, especially in developing countries. Five million people will die worldwide this year because of tobacco. That number is projected to double in the coming decades, with more than 70 percent of these deaths in developing nations. However, if adult cigarett
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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