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The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Calls Tobacco Company Membership in the Society for International Development Unacceptable

Statement by Mark Hurley, Global Communications Director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
October 31, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A story in Devex today reveals that the Washington, DC chapter of the Society for International Development (SID) has allowed multinational tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) to join its ranks. SID must drop the tobacco company from its membership immediately. It makes no sense for SID – which says it is dedicated to “sustainable economic, social and political development” – to help a tobacco company which sells deadly products to improve its reputation and benefit from access to global development leaders.

Tobacco use compromises development by imposing staggering health and economic burdens on countries, especially in low- and middle-income countries where more than 70 percent of the world’s smokers live. PMI targets youth around the world with its addictive products and actively blocks governments’ efforts to pass and implement life-saving tobacco control laws.

Make no mistake, PMI’s membership in SID is an attempt by a company responsible for unimaginable addiction, death and disease around the world to gain access to the organization’s reputable members and curry favor with governments and international organizations. SID Washington must immediately drop Philip Morris International from its membership, and SID members must join in calling on the organization to do so.

Without urgent action, tobacco will kill one billion people this century.