New Print Ad Takes Philip Morris To Task

WASHINGTON — A new print ad slamming Philip Morris for its report telling the Czech Republic that smoking-related deaths can improve the country’s budget will appear Thursday in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today.

The ad, done by Arnold for the American Legacy Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a health advocacy group, features a corpse with a tag on its left toe. The tag reads: “$1,227. That’s how much a study sponsored by Philip Morris and the Czech Republic saves on health care, pensions, and housing every time a smoker dies.”

Cheryl Healton, president of the American Legacy Foundation, which sponsors a national anti-smoking campaign, condemned the report. “Philip Morris was the best performing Dow Jones stock last year. While the company got richer, its customers got sicker and died from smoking its addictive products…The Czech report is merely the latest proof that Big Tobacco hasn’t morphed into Mr. Nice Guy, despite Philip Morris’s claims to the contrary.”

Bobby Kaplan, a spokesman for Philip Morris International said he could not comment on the ad until he sees it. However, Kaplan did say the company apologizes for the report. “We wish the study wasn’t done. We wish we didn’t commission it. We acknowledge the criticism. We don’t want to do that kind of thing anymore.”