PM EUROPEAN ADS DOWNPLAY RISKS OF SMOKE

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Passive smoking is less harmful to your health than gulping down milk, crunching cookies or eating pepper frequently, according to a multimillion-dollar European ad campaign from Philip Morris Cos.

The print campaign, created by Bainsfair Sharkey Trott, London, is running in major newspapers in nine European countries, including France, the U.K. and Germany, plus some pan-European publications.

The ad messages also are in brochures and available via World Wide Web sites on the Internet.

BATTLING REGULATION

The tobacco giant said the campaign aims to demonstrate why "second-hand tobacco smoke" does not justify restrictive anti-smoking regulations.

Among the ad headlines: "Life can't be free from risk. But you can decide which are the big ones" and "Life is full of risks. But they're not all equal."

"Our campaign opens the door for the European public to see this evidence and to judge it for themselves," said Philip Morris' David Greenberg, VP-corporate affairs in the European Union.

Philip Morris commands 30% of the EU's cigarette market with its Marlboro brand and others.

HELP FOR GUIDELINES

Philip Morris is offering EU companies and organizations help in setting smoking guidelines. The goal is to help smokers and non-smokers find "common sense solutions" to the problem.

The campaign follows one last year that argued against anti-smoking laws in Europe,, where smoking bans have been imposed on beaches in the U.K. and the seaside in Damp, Germany.

In Austria, the Association for Protection Against Unlawful Smoking proposes the use of smoking sheriffs located in subway stations and public buildings to photograph offenders, sue them and fine them. A Dutch company is forcing employees who smoke to work an additional hour every week.

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