Philip Morris gadget breaks the Marlboro myth

Friday 24 October 1997

ASH/ Press releases/


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Press release24 October 1997 ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

24 October 1997

Philip Morris gadget breaks the Marlboro myth

The new Philip Morris anti-passive smoking device will break the myth of smoking as acool and sexy thing to do and shows how desperate the tobacco companies have become in theface of mounting evidence on passive smoking. The new ‘Puff Activated Lighter’is a black box that clamps on to the end of the cigarette and retains all the‘sidestream’ smoke – the smoke given off by the tip of the cigarette.(‘Mainstream’ smoke is smoke that is inhaled, filtered though the lungs of thesmoker, and then exhaled to the air).

Only last year, Philip Morris produced adverts comparing therisks of passive smoking to eating biscuits, but now it seems they have spent $200 millionto deal with a problem they were trying to trivialise” said Clive Bates,Director of ASH, Action on Smoking and Health.

ASH doubts the device will be that popular because it destroys the coolimage of smoking: “If you try to imagine Humphrey Bogart with one of these, themyth just collapses“, said Bates, “at last we are getting down to thereality – smoking pollutes and kills“.

Passive smoking really is a serious problem. Last weekASH produced figures suggesting that passive smoking was responsible for 2 million casesof illness or death per year in the UK, including 600 cases of lung cancer, 12,000 heartattacks, and asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and cot death in children exposed to smoke inthe home. [1]

But ASH was keen to stress the importanceof dealing with passive smoking and the health of the smoker as well: “The bestway to protect yourself and others from cigarette smoke is to stop smoking. If the cravingfor nicotine is too great, then nicotine patches, gum and inhalers will help you over theworst,” said Bates.


Notes to editors

[1] Based on projections made by the California Environmental Protection Agency forCalifornia. Full analysis is available on request.

Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Amanda Sandford, Communications Director (020) 7739 5902

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