Oct. 25 1999
Washington, DC - The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS supports the African-American community’s opposition to the introduction of Marlboro Milds, Philip Morris’ new mentholated brand. Philip Morris clearly is targeting the African American community with this new brand. Most African-American smokers – and beginning smokers -- prefer menthol cigarettes.
The initiation of this new product comes as Philip Morris acknowledged the overwhelming consensus of the scientific and medical community that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses. This demonstrates that, despite overwhelming medical evidence that its products are lethal, Philip Morris is more interested in rhetoric than fundamental change.
If Philip Morris were serious about real reform of its practices, it would end its opposition to reasonable regulation of tobacco products by the Food and Drug Administration and drop its lawsuit against FDA. The company also would stop all marketing practices that impact children and would take action to reduce the ease with which kids obtain cigarettes illegally.
Instead, Philip Morris is launching yet another new brand along with a slick corporate image campaign intended to make the public believe that it is a reformed company that can be trusted. Philip Morris should abandon this Menthol Milds brand immediately and support real reform of its practices.