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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Friday, July 14, 2006 - 3:50 PM

US v. Philip Morris: The International Dimension

Robert Weissman, J.D., Essential Action, PO Box 19405, Washington, DC 20036

Objective: To evaluate whether remedies in the US v. Philip Morris case should apply internationally, and, if so, to determine how those remedies should be crafted.

Methods: Judge Gladys Kessler, who is handling the case, directed public health intervenors to make arguments about remedies based only on evidence introduced in the case, not from any external sources. There are other serious limitations in extending remedies internationally: The U.S. Justice Department did not name the non-U.S. subsidiaries of the tobacco companies as defendants, and it did not seek to remedy abuses occurring overseas. We scrutinized the record in the case to find all evidence showing that the international activities of the companies had public health impacts in the United States.

Results: In an amicus brief filed in conjunction with the City of San Francisco and other partners, Essential Action argued that because the tobacco industry is globalized, U.S. tobacco control efforts must take into account the international operations of the tobacco industry in order to be effective in the United States.

Among our specific recommendations:

* Philip Morris and BAT should be required to publicly disclose support for all front organizations that have significant impacts in the United States, wherever they are based (example: the ETS Consultancy).

* Philip Morris and BAT should be prohibited from representing that low-tar and/or lower-nicotine cigarettes are less hazardous, anywhere in the world.

* All brand-name sponsorships or product placement that have significant effects in the United States (e.g., Formula One sponsorship) should be prohibited.

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