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Philip Morris To Open New Cigarette Factory in Tanzania, Showing It Isn’t Serious About Creating a "Smoke-Free Future"

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Philip Morris International, the world’s largest publicly traded cigarette company, plans to open a new cigarette factory in Tanzania, according to media reports. The announcement is yet another act of hypocrisy from the tobacco giant that claims it is committed to “delivering a smoke-free future.” You don’t achieve a smoke-free future by building new cigarette factories or by shipping 613 billion cigarettes worldwide, as Philip Morris did in 2023.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids logo.

The move by Philip Morris to double down on cigarette sales in Africa shows that the company is blowing smoke and can’t be taken seriously when claiming that it wants to end cigarette sales. Philip Morris is working to sell as many cigarettes as it can for as long as it can. Any claims otherwise are nothing more than a public relations ploy.

Tobacco companies like Philip Morris have increasingly set their sights on Africa and low-and-middle-income countries around the world – seen as “growth markets” to sell their deadly and addictive products. Nearly 80 percent of the world’s smokers live in low- and middle-income countries like Tanzania.

For decades, Philip Morris has known that cigarettes are uniquely deadly. Despite this knowledge, it has aggressively marketed cigarettes around the world, bullied countries from passing strong policies to drive down smoking and continues to open cigarette factories in countries like Tanzania to produce and sell more cigarettes.

Tobacco use kills over 8 million people worldwide each year and is the world’s leading cause of preventable death. Tobacco companies like Philip Morris are the main cause of this global epidemic and pocket billions in profits at the expense of lives around the world. The world needs swift actions from governments to enact life-saving public health measures that curb tobacco use – not more cigarette factories from Philip Morris.

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