September 28, 2003

French court rejects lawsuit against tobacco companies

The Civil Court of Saint-Nazaire announced today that it had rejected a claim by the Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM) of Saint-Nazaire seeking to recover health care costs for the treatment of smoking-related diseases from certain affiliates of Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies. The CPAM is a local branch of the French social security system.

This is the first time a French court has addressed the ability of a health care provider to bring a direct action against tobacco manufacturers for the cost of treating beneficiaries who were smokers. Similar claims have been rejected in the United States and elsewhere. French courts generally have not accepted liability claims from individual smokers.

"This is an important decision since it is the first of its kind in France," Mark Friedman, Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Philip Morris International said. "These cases simply do not belong in court, and litigation is not the best way to address the matters raised. We will continue to work with the appropriate authorities to seek regulatory solutions to issues relating to smoking and health," Friedman said.

Note to the editor

The other defendants in the case are SEITA, affiliates of British American Tobacco and affiliates of Japan Tobacco International. The case was brought by the Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM) of Saint-Nazaire, which is a local branch of the French social security system.

About philip morris international inc.

PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six ot the world’s top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the developement and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabalities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and indusrty-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.

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