Tobacco manufacturers are frequently upbraided simply for defending their interests, even though it would be odd if they didn’t speak up in this way.
And so many in the tobacco industry will welcome today’s intervention by Philip Morris International in which it is seeking to address 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 about €14.6 billion in tax revenue and has invested hundreds of millions in reduced-risk product innovation, EU Region President Drago Azinovic said that rather than instigating a serious evaluation of the content and likely impact of the TPD, the discussion tended to focus on PMI’s efforts to make known its views about the 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,” he said. “In fact, it would be irresponsible for us not to inform EU decisionmakers 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.’”
PMI’s full press note is at http://www.pmi.com/eng/media_center/press_releases/pages/201309090402.aspx.
Category: Breaking News