The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

The real reason PMI is leaving Uruguay

People in Uruguay's capital Montevideo walk among an installation of cigarettes set up for the meeting of the FCTC Conference of the Parties in 2010. (c) Perfil.

In October, tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) announced it was closing its operations in Uruguay. The company blamed “excessive tax and regulatory measures and expanded smuggled cigarette market that have damaged profitability”.

But the NGO, Centre for Investigation into the Tobacco Epidemic (CIET), says PMI is simply trying to maximise profits. "PMI has lost no market share in our country (they acknowledge having 21.7 per cent of the market, a percentage that nearly doubles the share of previous years), so its profits certainly did not drop," says a CIET media release.

In 2010, PMI launched a complaint at the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes against some of Uruguay's extremely successful tobacco control measures.

Read the full press release: English, Spanish

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