marlboro smoking lady

Philip Morris International to Struggle Cigarette Labeling

Published on March 13th, 2015 00:00

These frightening pictures were intended to decrease cigarette use – and it seems to show positive results, mainly with pregnant women – however they have also attracted the anger of the largest cigarette maker Philip Morris International.

The Richmond, Virginia-based company is convinced that Uruguay's condition to cover about 80 % of the cigarette packaging with medical notifications and graphic images is an infringement of a treaty law. “Philip Morris is stating that the percentage of graphic warning labels that are demanded on cigarette packages in Uruguay goes further than what is acceptable to protect people from the hazardous effects of smoking” based on media reports in Montevideo. “The company claims that the warning labels leave no space for officially secured trademarks.”

The tobacco giant affirms that the company has been “forced out” of its own products as a result of the expanding warnings on the country’s cigarettes packages. The drop in sales from 2005 right until today, when the cigarette packages went from a very simple text warning before that year to totally covered in text and graphics these days, is clear proof of the success of the campaign.
Another of the company’s claims is about a law that states that a seller couldn't have any variants of a single brand sold in any kind of store – which means that someone who sold Marlboro Reds could not sell Marlboro Lights or Marlboro Menthols too.
Some media stores have examined the legal dispute between tobacco giants and Uruguay as David vs. Goliath, with Philip Morris' apparently endless coffers up against the modest economy of Uruguay. “The sum of money that Philip Morris has at its convenience sets Uruguay's gross domestic product to shame”, explained Uruguayan representatives.

For Philip Morris, its struggle against Uruguay may be an example for how other fights across the world will fair. Philip Morris and other cigarette makers are fighting Australia’s plain packaging regulations for cigarettes, and Thailand’s approach to apply health warnings covering 85% of packages has also attracted the attention of the company. “The result of this case will set the tone for other countries” mentioned local officials.