We are very disappointed with the confirmation today that Philip Morris International (PMI) has bought Vectura. Vectura – a company that makes products to improve the lives of people living with lung conditions – is now under the control of Philip Morris International (PMI) – a company which make products that damage the lungs and cause long-term lung conditions. The prospect of someone potentially profiting from selling one product that harms the lungs and another that treats the lung disease it causes is beyond worrying. For someone living with a lung condition, the sale is devastating.
We are not alone. Today, we join with other organisations who have signed a letter to the UK Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill, to ask for reassurances that this takeover will not allow PMI to legitimise tobacco industry participation within health debates. We think it is clear that this deal is not in the public interest and that it creates incentives for PMI to continue to cause harm through smoking so they might then profit again through treating smoking-related diseases. We will continue to work for the interests of good lung health and highlight the fundamental issue that there should be a clear separation between the tobacco industry and the health domain.
Kjeld Hansen, ELF Chair
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