By Michele Simon and John Stewart
This week, when tobacco giant Philip Morris International hosts it annual shareholders’ meeting in New York, the company will honor outgoing CEO Louis Camilleri for his years of service. But a look back at Camilleri’s tenure shows a trail and death and destruction unworthy of celebration.
In 2008, parent company Altria Group spun off the international division of Philip Morris to focus more on “emerging markets,” the euphemism corporations use to describe the exploitation of Global South nations. For decades, as the regulatory environment and public sentiment has turned against smoking in the U.S., tobacco corporations have set their sights overseas. As a result, Philip Morris International now derives more revenue from Asia than from the European Union, and nearly 80 percent of tobacco-related deaths occur in the Global South.
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