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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2526

Isn't "Smoke-Free Future" by the tobacco industry, a shame?

By Manjari Peiris

An investigative report published by Reuters reveals a massive, secretive campaign by tobacco giant Philip Morris International to undermine the global tobacco control treaty of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and fight countries' efforts to implement the life-saving measures called for by the treaty, says Matthew L.Meyers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, of DC.

This report he says, shows that Phillip Morris continues to do everything possible to throw roadblocks against efforts to reduce tobacco use and cannot be taken seriously when it claims to be committed to a "smoke-free future," as the company has aggressively done in recent months.

The report mentions that it is the height of hypocrisy for Philip Morris to proclaim publicly that it is helping solve the tobacco problem while it secretly wages all-out campaigns against efforts to reduce tobacco use and save lives.

Reuters documented based on thousands of pages of leaked Philip Morris documents and interviews with current and former Philip Morris employees, "an offensive that stretches from the Americans to Africa to Asia, from hardscrabble tobacco fields to the halls of political power, in what may be one of the broadest corporate lobbying efforts in existence. Taken as a whole, they present a company that has focused its vast global resources on bringing to heel the world's tobacco control treaty."

The treaty obligates countries to adopt proven strategies to reduce tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, advertising bans and large, graphic health warnings.

Both Philip Morris' efforts to infiltrate and subvert global meetings on implementing the treaty, as well as its lobbying, lawsuits and other tactics aimed at defeating, weakening and delaying tobacco control measures in individual countries are exposed through Reuters investigation.

A 2014 Philip Morris presentation published by Reuters reveals that to the tobacco giant "Roadblocks are as important as solutions."

Phillip Morris International which is the world's largest publicly traded tobacco company and sells the best-selling cigarette brand, as part of a campaign to rebrand its image, has recently claimed to be working toward a "smoke-free future"

The Reuters report reveals in detail how British American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies have fought tobacco control efforts throughout Africa. The stories are also revealing that tobacco companies have not changed, continue to say one thing in public while doing the exact opposite and cannot be trusted by governments or the public.

These investigations very well prove that Philip Morris and other tobacco giants will stop at nothing to undermine global progress in reducing tobacco use and maximize their profits.

These reports urge governments around the world to stand up to the tobacco industry and redouble their efforts to fully implement the proven strategies that reduce tobacco use and save lives.

Tobacco use has already claimed the lives of seven million people around the world, a year. Unless governments take strong and speedy action, tobacco will kill one billion people - this century.

- Asian Tribune -

Isn't "Smoke-Free Future" by the tobacco industry, a shame?
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