Release: Thu Apr 28, 2005
Mark 50th Anniversary of Marlboro & Philip Morris's Global
Expansion with Demonstration at Altria Shareholders Meeting
HANOVER, N.J., April 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Over 100 youth and
adults from India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, California, Hawaii,
New York, and Wisconsin will demonstrate outside the 2005 Altria
Shareholders Meeting to denounce Philip Morris's global expansion.
year, Altria Group, parent company of Philip Morris USA and Philip
Morris International (the world's largest multinational tobacco
company), is celebrating Marlboro's 50th anniversary. 2005 is
also the 50th anniversary of the company's overseas expansion.
Tobacco now kills 5 million people worldwide annually, a number
projected to double by 2025. Marlboro, the cigarette sold most
around the world, bears responsibility for many of these deaths.
will mark these macabre anniversaries outside the Altria shareholders
meeting with a "Happy 50th Deathday" cake, black balloons,
a 15-foot-high Marlboro pack labeled "50 Years of Death"
and photos of the company's tobacco promotions around the world
to which youth are exposed. Nearly 30 youth and adults are also
going inside the meeting to hold the company accountable for targeting
Gupta, 16, of India says, "Nearly one fourth of the youth
in India consume tobacco in some form or another. To get around
a new Indian tobacco advertising ban, the tobacco industry is
increasing product placement in Indian movies. Marlboro product
placement in several recent Bollywood movies is rampant."
taking over Indonesia's biggest kretek company," says Dr.
Tjandra Yoga Aditama, of the Indonesian Smoking Control Foundation,
"Philip Morris will worsen an already serious public health
situation. The health of Indonesians must not be sacrificed for
Philip Morris' profits. Indonesians call on the company to end
all tobacco marketing and advertising in our country."
Orogun, of Journalists Action on Tobacco and Health, Nigeria,
says, "Philip Morris recently started marketing Marlboro
cigarettes in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, with
over 40 percent of the population under age 15. Many Nigerian
youth, who admire everything America, will become addicted as
and adults from the aforementioned states and countries will be
available to talk to media during the demonstration and at a press
conference following the meeting at 11:30 a.m. (188 River Road).