Philip Morris ‘conversion’ 30 years too late

Wednesday 13 October 1999
ASH/ Press releases/

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Press release Wednesday 13th October 1999
Embargo: For immediate release

Action on Smoking and Health

Philip Morris ‘conversion’ thirty years too late

ASH dismissed the new ‘admissions’ on smoking and health by PhilipMorris as ‘cynical spin’.  Amanda Sandford, Research Manger at ASHLondon said:

“All they have done is admit what all respectable scientists weresaying thirty years ago, and they want applause for that. All these’admissions’ demonstrate is that they have spent decades defending theindefensible.”

Philip Morris has admitted nicotine is ‘addictive’, but has qualifiedthis with “as that term is most commonly used today”.  This formulationhas been used by other companies like BAT to compare the addictivenessof tobacco and nicotine to addiction to shopping, love or theinternet.

Sandford said: “When they say that smoking is addictive, they need tocome out and say whether they mean addictive like heroin and cocaine,or addictive like shopping. You just can’t trust them to givestraight answers.”

ASH said that it is the actions of Philip Morris now, not their words,that matter. What are they going to do about their products now thatthey have ‘admitted’ that smoking is harmful?

Sandford continued: “There is no sign from Philip Morris that theycare or feel any responsibility for the terrible toll of addiction,sickness and premature death that they are now belatedlyacknowledging. There is no sense that they will support seriousmeasures to tackle the problem like raising taxes or banning tobaccoadvertising and sponsorship.”


Contact Clive Bates, Director (0207) 739 5902
Amanda Sandford or Karl Brookes (0207) 739 5902

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