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I read with interest your comments relating to the current Philip Morris Europe S.A. issues campaign in your Global Village (Ad Age International, June).

The present campaign aims to put science and health risks into perspective. Far from trivializing the issue of secondhand tobacco smoke, Philip Morris is keen to stimulate an open and informed debate. The campaign aims to share the available scientific evidence with the European public in the belief that common sense will ultimately prevail on this emotive issue.

We believe the scientific evidence shows that secondhand tobacco smoke does not present a meaningful risk to non-smokers.

Scientists-including the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the U.S. National Cancer Institute-have seriously questioned whether relative risk numbers below 2.0 signify meaningful health risks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put the relative risk for contracting lung cancer from secondhand tobacco smoke at 1.19.

The studies referenced in the Philip Morris Europe S.A. issue ads show that relative risks for drinking milk or chlorinated water and for eating pepper or biscuits are below 2.0. It is ludicrous to suggest that milk, chlorinated water, pepper or biscuits present real risks.

If scientific standards are properly applied, then we believe the evidence does not show that secondhand smoke is a meaningful health risk.

John Roberts

Director, Corporate Affairs

Philip Morris

U.K. and Ireland

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