Lausanne, Switzerland (ots-PRNewswire) - Philip Morris
International responded today to assertions made by the World Health
Organization (WHO) that the company undermined and improperly
influenced the policies and programs of WHO on tobacco control.
"Some company documents that refer to WHO, going back many
decades, do not reflect an approach that today we would adopt with
WHO," said David Davies, Vice President of the EU Region of Philip
Morris International. "They are the product of a polarised and
unproductive environment in which few solutions were sought, and
conflict prevailed over consensus. Philip Morris regrets this."
"Our goal today is to create a different environment -- one of
less rancour where there can be real progress in resolving important
issues relating to the regulation of tobacco," Davies said.
"Arguments about the past and debate about historical documents are
not the way to achieve this goal. Nor will litigation seeking
restitution, as advocated by WHO, facilitate constructive discussion
and resolve conflict. Rather, litigation only adds to the conflict
With regard to the conclusions of WHO, Philip Morris International
pointed out that inferences of improper influence are not accurate.
Public health messages on smoking by WHO and other organisations have
not been altered by Philip Morris, nor were any WHO initiatives
prevented or obstructed by any conduct on the part of Philip Morris.
"For nearly 35 years, WHO and related international health
organisations have consistently delivered to smokers and non-smokers
clear and unequivocal messages and resolutions concerning the serious
health consequences of smoking," Davies pointed out. "They have also
initiated activities and programs aimed to reduce and even
'eliminate' smoking in nations around the world."
WHO assertions of undue influence are based on selected excerpts
from more than 35 million industry documents that have been made
publicly available in the U.S. litigation. "While many of these
documents reflect adversarial positions and often confrontational
attitudes on both sides, we do not believe that they substantiate a
conclusion that Philip Morris obstructed WHO's health messages about
tobacco or its tobacco control initiatives," said Davies. He added
that, as in any large corporation, as well as large international
organisations, dozens of memoranda are written and circulated every
day expressing divergent points of view on issues.
Like most major corporations, Philip Morris seeks to make known to
governments and international organisations, including WHO, its views
and perspectives on public policy matters affecting its business.
Today, Philip Morris seeks a constructive dialogue with WHO, critics
and others. Through such an approach, the company is trying to secure
resolution of differences and solutions to shared concerns about
"We believe that today we share many areas of common ground with
government regulators, public health authorities and, we hope, the
WHO," said Davies. "Although we do not expect to agree with WHO on
all issues, we can play a positive role in addressing the public
policy and regulatory issues relating to tobacco by working together
on issues such as youth smoking prevention, proper warnings,
manufacturing regulations, marketing restrictions, and smuggling."
"We recognise that there is an atmosphere of mistrust and
confrontation to which we may have contributed," concluded Davies.
"But if we move beyond the past, there is a genuine possibility for
practical solutions and progress."
ots Original Text Service: Philip Morris Europe SA
Jane Morrison, Philip Morris Europe SA, +41 21 618 6781
Original-Content von: Philip Morris GmbH, übermittelt durch news aktuell