Breaking News from America's Progressive Community...
9, 1998 11:40 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Essential Action
Robert Weissman, 202-387-8030
|Group Says Philip Morris Papers Show Company Considered Voluntary Health Warnings on Cigarette Exports|
- September 9 - Philip Morris has considered adding U.S.-style health warnings on all of
its exported cigarettes, newly discovered company documents show.
In a July 24, 1991 memo, unearthed by Essential Action, a Ralph Nader-founded corporate accountability group, Murray Bring, counsel to Philip Morris and a lawyer at Arnold & Porter, a top Washington, D.C., firm suggested to Michael Miles, then Philip Morris incoming CEO, "that we should consider placing health warnings on all of our exported cigarettes."
Bring added that when Geoffrey Bible -- the current CEO of Philip Morris -- headed Philip Morris International "he had just about concluded that it would be sensible to place warnings on all exported cigarettes." Others, he wrote, including former CEO Hamish Maxwell, did not "objec(t) to the concept, in principle," but "have felt that we should not make this concession without getting something for it in return. For example, we might be able to use it as a bargaining chip in legislative negotiations."
The document is available on the House of Representatives Commerce Committee web site www.house.gov/commerce under the Bates Number 2023003838. Bring followed up in October 1991 with another note to Miles, urging again that Philip Morris, quietly and voluntarily, add health warnings to its exports. The Bates Number for that document is 2023003853/3854.
"It is time to put an end to Big Tobacco's double standard," said Robert Weissman, co-director of Essential Action. "Congress should adopt legislation, such as that introduced by Representative Lloyd Doggett, to force the tobacco companies to adhere to the same labeling and marketing standards overseas as at home," Weissman said.
"In the meantime, Philip Morris should act on the suggestion made by one of its top lawyers nearly a decade ago, and voluntarily place U.S.-style health warnings on its exports, as well as on those cigarettes it produces overseas."
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