Manufacturer admits smoking kills World’s biggest cigarette maker recognises for first time `overwhelming medical and scientific consensus’ linking habit with fatal diseases

Philip Morris now admits that smoking is `addictive as that term is most commonly used today.’ It also accepts that there is an `overwhelming medical and scientific consensus’ that smoking cigarettes can lead to lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease.[QQ] The remarkable `mea culpa’ is part of a $100m corporate public relations campaign which the manufacturers of Marlboro hope will protect them from future civil actions. Two years ago, the big tobacco companies, including Philip Morris, agreed to a $246bn settlement of actions brought by states to recover the Medicaid costs of treating sick smokers.[QQ] On the delicate issue of addiction, the company acknowledges that `it can be very difficult to quit smoking but this should not deter smokers who want to quit from trying to do so.’ The Philip Morris site carries links to other websites giving advice on how to stop. The tone of the website is in marked contrast to the company’s previous position, which was to deny that cigarette smoking caused cancer and to attack the medical evidence put forward by the US surgeon general. [QQ]
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Full Text: The Guardian 1999 Oct 14

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