Philip Morris International is concerned that participants in the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will promote prohibitionist policies for noncombustible tobacco products, according to an article in The Guardian.
“The agenda and meeting documents have been made public for the main part,” PMI Senior Vice President of External Affairs Gregoire Verdeaux wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, they reconfirmed every concern we had that this conference may remain as the biggest missed opportunity ever in tobacco control’s history … WHO’s agenda is nothing short of a systematic, methodical, prohibitionist attack on smoke-free products.”
Without “reasonable, constructive outcomes,” Verdeaux wrote, the “WHO will have irreversibly compromised the historic opportunity for public health presented by the recognition that smoke-free products, appropriately regulated, can accelerate the decline of smoking rates faster than tobacco control combined.”
While tobacco companies are not invited to the Conference of the Parties to the FCTC, Verdeaux said he will be in Panama “to publicly denounce the absurdity of being excluded from it while PMI today [is] undoubtedly the most helpful private partner WHO could have in the fight against smoking.”
Last year, PMI made $10.19 billion in revenue from products like heated-tobacco and electronic cigarettes.