Philip Morris International today filed legal action to prevent the Dutch Government from making cigarette brand recipes available to competitors and counterfeiters.
"The dispute in the Netherlands is not about providing ingredients information - we have already done that, in full compliance with EU requirements," Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs David Davies said today. "This is about protecting our trademarks against a government's determination to publicize the precise brand recipes for all tobacco products, a policy that serves no public health goal and provides no consumer information," Davies added.
Philip Morris has communicated information about tobacco issues, including ingredients, and the company's positions on those issues to governments, media and the public at large. Philip Morris supports laws that enable governments to monitor the use of ingredients in cigarettes, as they do for other consumer products, with the same confidential treatment of trade secrets.
The Dutch Government's requirements would make specific brand recipes available to competitors and counterfeiters and goes far beyond the EU Directive which establishes a community wide standard for providing information on ingredients in tobacco products. The EU Product Directive guarantees that specific brand recipes which constitute trade secrets are protected.
Philip Morris has provided comprehensive and detailed ingredients information to the Dutch Government in precisely the same way as it has in other countries in the EU and elsewhere. "We have provided detailed information in a way which allows the Dutch government to assess the ingredients used in our products and to satisfy itself and consumers that the ingredients we use do not increase the existing harm of smoking," said Mr. Davies. Information about all the ingredients used in cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris for sale in the Netherlands is also published on the company's website http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com/pages/nld/smoking/Ingredients_nl.asp.
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.