In reference to your article “Tobacco giants plot launch of ‘safer’ cigarette brands” (MW September 2), Philip Morris would like to clarify our position regarding the restrictions laid out in the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (point of sale) Regulations 2004, as well as our position on point-of-purchase advertising and the marketing of potentially reduced-exposure products in the UK.
As part of the litigation proceeding, it is obvious that the claimants submit documents to represent their arguments to court. These documents by their nature are not yet public and can now be reviewed only by parties involved in the case. Thus, they are not “secret” as you say in your article.
As stated in our submission to the Department of Health’s Choosing Health? public consultation, it is our view that the current advertising restrictions prevent consumers from becoming aware of any new products that are available and their attributes, including potentially reduced-exposure products.
Philip Morris is working hard to develop products that may lead to a reduction in the health risks associated with smoking; however, this is a long and complex process.
In this regard, we believe that working with governments and the public health community to develop and enact regulation that reduces the harm associated with smoking is the responsible thing to do.
Corporate affairs manager