Senegal Stunned at Deep Philip Morris Price Discount
Even smoker says: "It’s not good"
Posted by: Editor | Jan 11, 2012
Senegal’s health officials are outraged at a sudden price cut of nearly 40 percent in Philip Morris International’s top-selling Marlboro brand, saying that the deep discount puts profits over health.
The global tobacco giant stunned Senegal, which is already struggling with soaring adult and youth smoking rates, when it announced the price cut last month.
AFP reports that officials and the public are alarmed:
"This move has been driven solely by commercial and corporate concerns, which shouldn’t take precedence over health development," says Omar Nda of the health ministry.
Even some Senegalese smokers say PMI’s price cut goes too far. One smoker told AFP the discount means he can now purchase 5 cigarettes for 100 francs, instead of three: "It’s not good," he says.
Price cuts encourage tobacco use among youth, while increases in price through higher taxes reduce smoking – especially among young people. A 10-percent increase in tobacco prices would reduce the number of smokers by 42 million worldwide, and save 10 million lives.