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Philip Morris International secret global campaign to undermine FCTC

A Reuters investigation recently published reveals that Philip Morris International has for years run a secret global campaign to undermine the World Health Organization’s anti-smoking treaty, which was designed to save lives by curbing tobacco use around the world. In a circular from FCA details key aspects from this publication. 

" One of the largest-ever tobacco industry leaks, internal Philip Morris International documents seen by Reuters provide details of the company’s operation. Among the facts uncovered:Philip Morris executives take credit in internal emails for significant victories in delaying or watering down provisions of the treaty – the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, or FCTC. These include measures related to international trade, tobacco farming and tobacco company liability.· 

Philip Morris runs covert operations centres in the cities hosting the biennial conferences of the FCTC nations in order to gain access to delegates at the gatherings, whose proceedings have been shut to industry representatives. Treaty administrators are largely in the dark about the cigarette company's lobbying, which includes clandestine meetings with treaty delegation members.· 

Philip Morris described plans in an internal document to set up a "global project team" for "achieving scrutiny" of tobacco control advocates. Each of the company’s cigarette markets around the world, the document said, could "begin tracking" and "report unusual behavior" by the advocates.· 

One of Philip Morris’ goals has been to boost the presence of delegates in the national FCTC delegations who are not from health agencies. That has happened, according to a Reuters analysis of delegation rosters. Delegations to the treaty now include more representatives of ministries linked to tax, finance or agriculture interests friendlier to the tobacco industry. 

The number of those delegates has risen from a few dozen in 2006 to more than 100 in recent years. Reuters reporting and thousands of pages of internal Philip Morris documents expose a secretive corporate lobbying campaign that is one of the biggest in the world – with potentially millions of lives at stake. Read the full Special Report

 

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