2002 Philip Morris Annual Meeting of Stockholders
April 25, 2002

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 <[email protected]>, Judy Wilkenfeld <[email protected]>

Essential Action
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control

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