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Main » 2013 » September » 10 » Philip Morris International Addresses Misguided Attacks on Role in Tobacco Products Directive Debate
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Philip Morris International Addresses Misguided Attacks on Role in Tobacco Products Directive Debate
ME NewsWire  / Business Wire

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Monday, September 9th 2013

 Philip Morris International (PMI) (NYSE/Euronext Paris: PM) today addressed recent attacks on the

company’s efforts to express its views on the proposed EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

Speaking on behalf of the company, which employs 12,500 people in the EU, generates

approximately EUR 14.6 billion in tax revenue and has invested hundreds of millions in reduced risk

product innovation EU Region President Drago Azinovic said:

"Unfortunately, rather than a serious evaluation of the content and likely impact of the EU’s

proposed Tobacco Products Directive, the discussion tends to focus on our efforts to make known

our views about this proposal.

"The argument that we should remain silent in the face of a proposal that directly concerns us --

and on which we have facts and improvement ideas to share – is illogical. In fact, it would be

irresponsible for us not to inform EU decision-makers of the impact of a proposal on our business, the

hundreds of thousands of employees working in our industry, and the Member State governments

and taxpayers who will bear the consequences. We have and will continue to express our views

proactively and transparently. As the EU itself says this kind of interaction is ‘constant, legitimate

and necessary for the quality of democracy.’

"As part of this process, some PMI employees spend time meeting with EU officials to share the

company’s views and provide industry expertise not only on the TPD, but other complex policy

issues as well, and we voluntarily reported this activity on the EU’s Transparency Register. Using

the EU’s recommended methodology, we surveyed a total of 161 employees who potentially

spent a portion of their time, in addition to their other job responsibilities, with EU officials. We then

calculated -- again, using the EU's methodology -- the figure, which is a fraction of the number of

employees surveyed and that appears on the Transparency Register. This number includes those

employees in the Brussels office who interact with EU officials and are listed by name. In short, we

followed best practices in our reporting, which makes it particularly frustrating to read articles

that misinterpret -- or, perhaps, intentionally mischaracterize -- our practices -- especially when

the purported basis for this information appears to be stolen, internal PMI working documents. On

top of all that, creating confusion about the number of PMI employees who work on matters in

Brussels distracts from what matters, namely a rational approach to tobacco regulation in the EU.

"Contrary to the impression that our critics attempt to create, PMI does support sound, effective

regulation -- even when it restricts our business activities -- and we allocate resources to

advocating our views in that regard. For example, we believe that a regulatory framework that

enables and encourages reduced risk products makes sense; we believe government should pass

-- and vigorously enforce -- laws to fight the large and growing black market tobacco market; and

we agree that public should continue to receive information on the risks of smoking.

"At the same time, we are not alone in our view that many elements in the proposed TPD are

deeply flawed. For example, the Commission's proposal to ban menthol and slim cigarettes

violates the EU's basic standards of sound regulation. There isn't even an impact assessment of the

ban on slims and the proposal skips over the key fact that, as history has shown, prohibition does

not work. These bans will force sales out of legitimate corner shops onto unregulated street

corners and other places where the products are illegal and the sellers are criminals who don’t

follow basic laws such as verifying the age of a customer or collecting excise tax.

"These and the other negative consequences of this proposal would have received more careful

consideration if the Commission had taken more seriously its duty to conduct a thorough and

objective impact assessment of the draft Directive. Instead, Members of the European Parliament

now face the task of correcting a deeply flawed proposal. Otherwise, the Member States will

ultimately bear the burden of having to implement measures that unjustifiably disrupt an internal

market that has been working well for years.

"We look forward to continuing to invest time, effort and resources into providing accurate and

relevant information about the impact this Directive will have. It is our hope that members of the

European Parliament will look beyond the rhetoric, examine the facts, and stand up for the many

who will be unnecessarily, negatively impacted if this proposal is passed in its current form.”


Below are links to view reports commissioned by PMI and submissions to the Commission

describing the impact of the proposed TPD. These reports and submissions are a publicly available

and have been part of the company’s effort to educate decision makers and others about the

flaws in the Commission’s proposal.

Read the economic analysis of the impact of the TPD conducted by Roland Berger here.

Read Transcrime’s assessment of the risks to public safety posed by the TPD here.

Read PMI’s 2010 submission to the Commission’s Public Consultation on the Tobacco Products

Directive here.

Read PMI’s 2010 submission to the Commission regarding RAND’s Impact Assessment here.

About Philip Morris International Inc.

Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the leading international tobacco company, with seven of

the world’s top 15 international brands, including Marlboro, the number one cigarette brand

worldwide. PMI’s products are sold in more than 180 markets. In 2012, the company held an

estimated 16.3% share of the total international cigarette market outside of the U.S., or 28.8%

excluding the People’s Republic of China and the United States. For more information, see

www.pmi.com.

Contacts

Philip Morris International media office

Media enquiries

T: +41 (0)58 242 4500

E: media@pmi.com

 

 

 

 

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