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March 19, 2018

Tobacco Control Leaders: “The Philip Morris International-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is a marketing ploy to sell more tobacco”

Next week, the Philip Morris International-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World will release a survey on why people smoke, funded by Philip Morris. In response to the announcement, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and Vital Strategies released the following joint statement:

“We don’t need a Philip Morris-funded survey to tell us why people smoke. Smoking is a worldwide health crisis created by tobacco companies – period. Corporations like Philip Morris International created and continue to drive the smoking epidemic by targeting children as customers, using slick and deceptive marketing to sell lethal tobacco products, and lobbying and litigating to block solutions that are proven to reduce smoking rates.

“The Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is a marketing ploy by the tobacco giant. Research funded by Philip Morris through the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is being released in service of their ultimate aim: to protect Philip Morris profits by keeping people around the world dependent on tobacco products.

“Legitimate tobacco control and public health advocates are on the leading edge when it comes to using research to help end this global crisis. Projects like The Tobacco Atlas are equipping the field with data that clearly identify the causes behind the tobacco epidemic and the proven solutions that can end tobacco companies’ grip on families, communities and countries across the world. The latest edition of the Atlas, released just last week, reveals that the tobacco industry is increasingly targeting vulnerable populations in places like Africa, Asia, and the Middle East that lack strong tobacco control policies.

“If Philip Morris was truly committed to ending the tobacco epidemic, the company would stop marketing its deadly products and blocking proven solutions to reduce smoking. Instead, it is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing ploys like the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World in an attempt to distract the world from its true goal: selling more tobacco products.”

The following spokespeople are available for questions about the Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World and the latest research on the causes and solutions for the global tobacco epidemic:

Mark Hurley
Global Communications Director
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
MHurley@TobaccoFreeKids.org

Gan Quan
Director of Tobacco Control
The Union
gqan@theunion.org

Sandra Mullin
Senior Vice President
Vital Strategies
smullin@vitalstrategies.org

Media Contacts:

Caroline Renzulli:
+1 202-481-9344
crenzulli@tobaccofreekids.org

Christina Honeysett:
+1 917-720-4775
choneysett@vitalstrategies.org

Emily Gardner:
+1 202-448-0238
emily@spitfirestrategies.com

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