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May 6, 2020
Tobacco

STATEMENT: Ulysses Dorotheo, M.D.’s question at Philip Morris International annual meeting

“I’m Ulysses Dorotheo. I’m a Filipino physician, living in Manila. For over 30 years, I’ve met many tobacco victims, who began cigarette smoking in their teens, and whose lives have been forever transformed by their addiction. Some of them have died prematurely from tobacco-caused diseases, such as heart disease and cancer; others now live with lifelong disability. In the Philippines, at least 107,000 people are killed by cigarettes each year. In Southeast Asia, there are half a million tobacco deaths annually.

Today Philip Morris talks about transformation and UNSMOKE and is now rolling out heated tobacco products in many countries, such as the Philippines, promoting them as significantly less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. After many decades, Philip Morris has finally conceded that cigarettes are harmful and that people should stop smoking; however, it is misleading and hypocritical to claim corporate transformation if your company, now admitting cigarettes are harmful, continues to make those same harmful cigarettes, continues earning most of its profits from them, and continues opposing stringent tobacco control measures aimed at reducing cigarette use.

For example, while claiming to promote a smoke-free future, Philip Morris sued a small town in the Philippines when the city council passed smoke-free ordinances aimed at protecting young people from cigarettes.

If the transformation claimed by Philip Morris were genuine, you would be voluntarily and meaningfully taking responsibility for selling and continuing to sell these harmful products. When and how will Philip Morris implement a global product recall for cigarettes, retract its opposition to strict tobacco control measures, and compensate its customers, who got sick and died prematurely or suffer daily from tobacco-caused disability?”


Corporate Accountability is looking for a new Executive Director