14 Jun 2016
Philip Morris funding for Atlas
In 1995, Philip Morris contributed US$475,000 to Atlas, according to an internal budget document released as part of the settlement of the legal action brought by several U.S. states’ attorneys general, and reported by SourceWatch.
In 1997, despite a tight budget, PM staff recommended Atlas receive $150,000 because of the organization’s ability, through its events and public advocacy work, to “positively impact the regulatory environment, particularly in Latin America”. The think tanks fostered by Atlas, PM staff wrote approvingly, results in “an improved operating environment for all PM businesses”.
Formerly known as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Atlas Network was founded in 1981 by Antony Fisher. It is closely affiliated with the UK‐based Institute of Economic Affairs, the University of Buckingham (which has ties to the Global Warming Policy Foundation) and an international analogue, the International Policy Network (formerly known as Atlas Economic Research Foundation (UK)), says SourceWatch.
Tobacco industry members
Other signatories count tobacco companies among their members, including the Czech Association for Branded Products.
In its letter to Chan the coalition described plain packaging as “detrimental trademark infringement”. It echoed tobacco industry claims about plain packaging in Australia, which in 2012 became the first country to implement the measure:
“Data suggests that the plain packaging efforts may not be as successful as these governments would have the public believe with smoking rates actually increasing in a number of Australian states in the year following the policy’s implementation….”
However, a review of research done since 1990 has found that plain packaging is effective.
- See the list of coalition members and their ties
- World No Tobacco Day 2016 was dedicated to plain packaging. Learn more.