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Statements by GPTC participants -
2002 PM Annual Meeting of Stockholders

On April 25, five GPTC participants addressed Philip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible and stockholders at the company's 2002 annual meeting of stockholders in Richmond, Virginia. Below, please find the full text of the statements made.


1. Eva Kralikova (CZECH REPUBLIC)

2. Laurent Huber (Action on Smoking and Health - USA)
       on behalf of
    Inoussa Saouna (SOS Tabagisme - NIGER)

3. Anna White (GPTC/Essential Action)
       on behalf of
    Veronique Le Clezio (ViSa - MAURITIUS)
    Eze Eluchie (PADDI - NIGERIA)
    Lisa Houston (Peace Corps Volunteer - UKRAINE)

4. Mark Breaux (Smoke Free Maryland - USA)
       on behalf of
    Cornel Radu (Aer Pur - ROMANIA)

5. Hannah Severtson (Target Market - USA)

Read a full report on the meeting



My name is Eva Kralikova, and I am a doctor in the Faculty of Medicine at Charles University in the Czech Republic. I am here to ask Philip Morris to change more than your name. I ask that you stop your harmful actions around the world that result in more and more people becoming addicted to your cigarettes and more and more people dying of diseases caused by smoking.

Today we have heard a lot about Philip Morris being a responsible company. But a responsible company would not do what Philip Morris did in the Czech Republic last year.

When our government tried to increase tobacco taxes, Philip Morris commissioned a report to tell us that because of smoking, our country would save almost 1,227 U.S. dollars in reduced benefits for the
elderly. Following this logic, the government should just kill all people on the day of their retirement.

A responsible company would not make this kind of immoral argument. Philip Morris will tell us they apologized, but if they are sincere, why were they planning similar reports in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia?

If Philip Morris was a responsible company, it would stop using the Marlboro man to addict children around the world. In my country, the Marlboro man is everywhere. This advertising has been so effective that, in the Czech Republic, the slang term for a cigarette is “amerika,” as in “give me an amerika.”

So my question to Philip Morris is this: will you show that you are serious about being a responsible company by eliminating the Marlboro Man from your advertising around the world? Will you stop using this icon that has addicted so many children and resulted in so much death and disease around the world?

RESPONSE (notes taken by Judy Wilkenfeld, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids): Bible’s answer to Eva was that she was naive. Geoffrey Bible claimed that Philip Morris did not know that the economic study was being conducted and when they learned of it they stopped it. As for the Marlboro Man and his effect on children’s smoking, it would be naïve to think that removing him would solve the problem. Advertising doesn’t get kids to smoke, Bible said, other factors incite young people to smoke. Access is one of the most important issues and 4 out of 5 youngsters get their smokes from parents and friends. In fact, many get them when parents leave their packages around the house and Bible would like to make sure that people pay more attention to putting their packs in a safe place.

For more information: Eva Kralikova <>, Judy Wilkenfeld <>



My name is Laurent Huber and I am speaking on behalf of my colleague, Inoussa Saouna, president of SOS Tabagisme Niger.

In Niger, a decree was enacted in 1992 stating that: "the adverting of tobacco products and cigarettes is prohibited in all media communications (radio, television, written press), and that the advertisement of tobacco is prohibited through the use of billboards and public postings. (DECREE: n 042/MCT/SEC/SEC/CC of October 06, 1992).

Philip Morris claims that they respect worldwide tobacco advertising laws. However, two of Philip Morris' tobacco products, Marlboro and Bond Street, are advertised in Niger through posters, billboards and a variety of other public displays.

For this reason, on February 20, 2002, SOS Tabagisme Niger filed a suit against SODENI, the commercial society that sells and promotes Philip Morris' tobacco products in Niger for ignoring the above mentioned decree. Though the law is very clear in this case, Saouna's lawyer is up against 12 industry lawyers.

Philip Morris pledged three years ago to follow the same rules abroad that it does in the United States, which in addition to respecting the law, includes not handing out free cigarettes to anyone, much less to minors. Unfortunately, this is another marketing practice that continues to be used to promote Philip Morris' tobacco products in Niger.

My colleague, Mr Saouna, would like to know whether or not Philip Morris, or Altria as it will now become, can publicly commit (NOW) - in front of its shareholders - to the following:
1. Ending all advertising that is in violation of his country's law
2. Ending all free distribution of cigarettes in Niger

RESPONSE: Predictably, Bible denied that the company has broken any laws or distributed free cigarettes to minors. He called Laurent's statement "innacurate" and "absurb" and claimed that the company only samples in "adult areas" and checks people's ages. He noted that it is a "competitive industry," and that "we must work together to solve the issue of smoking." He cited the company's voluntary [weak!] "international marketing code" and interest in "working with governments."

For more information: Laurent Huber <>, Inoussa Saouna <>

For more information on Philip Morris' practices in Niger see:


(reconstruction from notes)

Hello, my name is Anna White. I am representing Essential Action's Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control project. Essential Action is a corporate accountability group based in Washington, DC. Our Global Partnerships project links tobacco control groups in the U.S. and Canada with groups in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Central/Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Currently there are over 360 groups from more than 100 countries and 40 U.S. states involved, working across borders to monitor and counter the tobacco industry.

My comments today are in regard to the proposal to change Philip Morris' name to "Altria." As Philip Morris shareholders may or may not know, 2002 marks the 100th anniversary of Philip Morris. In the last 100 years, tobacco has killed 100 million people around the world. And if the tobacco industry is not reigned in, tobacco will kill a mind-boggling 1 billion people this century. By 2030 tobacco will kill 10 million people annually -- the equivalent of 70 [Boeing 747] planes full of passengers crashing each and every day of the year.

In light of these statistics, this is what people around the world are saying about Philip Morris changing its name:

From Mauritius: "The tobacco industry is a responsible industry -- RESPONSIBLE indeed of 10,000 avoidable human deaths per day. Whatever its name, the company will always be synonymous with death, destruction, and disease, for the sake of profit."
[Veronique le Clezio, ViSa]

From Nigeria: "Does a change of name bring back to life hundreds of thousands of people maimed or killed in one hundred years of corporate social irresponsibility?!! Philip Morris, Altria, "Death Angel" or whatever, you still remained a loathed agent of disease and death!!!"
[Eze Eluchie, People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance]

From Ukraine: "Philip Morris recently made headlines in the Ukraine after releasing a billboard featuring a pregnant woman. Philip Morris is probably hoping that by hiding behind a new name it can gloss over such crass advertising tactics."
[Lisa Houston, Peace Corps Volunteer, Nikolayev]...

[At this point Philip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible interrupts and claims - incorrectly - that 2 minutes are up. Meanwhile the microphone is pulled away, as the video screen switches back to Bible. Speaker follows the microphone and contests the time limit. Bible grants time to finish question]

... My question is: if Philip Morris changes its name, will it also change its practices around the world [which are at the root of tobacco's global massacre], e.g. political influence, aggressive marketing tactics (like the Marlboro Man and free cigarettes), fighting smokefree legislation etc.?

RESPONSE: Bible adamantly denied that Philip Morris used a pregnant woman in a cigarette advertisement, adding, "and you know that!" -- implying that the example had been made up and was a lie (See for yourself ). Furthermore, he accused us of refusing to "work with the tobacco industry" to come up with solutions. We can all take that as a very high compliment!

For more information: Anna White <>, Veronique Le Clezio <>, Ezekwesiri Eluchie <>, Lisa Houston <>

For more information about PM's use of a pregnant-looking women in an L & M advertisement: Konstantin Krasovsky <>

Full text of statements from around the world about Philip Morris' name change



Good morning Mr. Bible. My name is Mark Breaux and I'm here representing Smoke Free Maryland and Aer Pur of Romania. Philip Morris and other tobacco companies have taken advantage of Romania and its people through your campaign of lies and manipulation. Your market share in that country has grown by over 14% in the past year alone. You have made millions of dollars through the suffering of your victims, but you will not win. You are dealing with organizations like AER PUR Romania, who have the moral courage to work day in and day out to defeat Philip Morris and the tobacco industry that tries to take the very soul of a nation for its own profit.

Smoke Free Maryland has made much progress here at home, but will not allow our country to export its tobacco epidemic to more vulnerable nations. Philip Morris cannot hide behind a new name. We know who you are, we know what you do, and we will NEVER give up the fight.

(paraphrase) My question to you is... with all the problems that Romania and other countries in Eastern Europe have faced since the wall came down... with all of the burden on their health care systems... when do you plan to reduce your activities that cause so many health related problems in those countries?"

RESPONSE: Mr. Bible responded basically by saying that "Democracy" in Eastern Europe now gives people the choice to smoke.

For more information: Mark Breaux <>, Cornel Radu-Loghin <>



Hi, my name is Hannah Severtson and I'm with Target Market of Minnesota. If your company changes its name to Altria, will it also stop targeting teens?

For more information: Jeannette Cleland <>

Essential Action
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control

P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176