28 Jul 2010
Uruguay’s new cigarette warning labels are under threat thanks to tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI).
Earlier this year, Uruguay implemented strong laws requiring that all cigarette warning labels cover 80 per cent of the front and back of packages. This move meant Uruguay would have the largest cigarette warnings in the world, and championed the country as a tobacco control role model for other nations.
Large warnings are crucial in alerting people about the devastating effects of smoking on their health, and help encourage them to stop smoking.
However, instead of considering people’s health, PMI is thinking of its profits.
Recently, PMI launched an arbitration case against Uruguay’s government, stating that the warnings restrict the sales of certain cigarette brands.
FCA is concerned that PMI is using this tactic to bully Uruguay’s government into thinking the new labels will affect the country’s economy.
If PMI succeeds, it might also use this tactic on other countries, and set a dangerous precedent for tobacco companies wanting to change tobacco control laws. Global efforts to combat the tobacco epidemic will be greatly undermined.
Please join the FCA in emailing Uruguayan President José Mujica Cordan to ask him to stay strong and not back down on the country’s new labelling laws.