Philip Morris (PM), the most successful U.S. based
multinational cigarette maker, has undertaken an
extraordinary sea change in confronting the rising
tide of devastating health news about smoking (active
as well as passive). After more than half a century of
blatant denial, PM is suddenly coming out to fully
embrace the death and destruction its products inflict
(44). "Our consumers have told us [that] as a
responsible manufacturer of a risky product, they
expect us as a company to be open about the risks of
smoking and to be communicating that information
voluntarily above and beyond the law." (45) The
situation appears to be totally grotesque, bordering
on the obscene, in that there is a manufacturer who
admits its merchandise harms and kills yet continues
to advertise and sell it at home and abroad, and to
harvest the world's children as customers to secure
future profits. The fact that PM was able to do this
with impunity, and by preserving the status quo of
conducting "business as usual" without even the least
objection by government or society, reflects the
depth of social morass and the moral abyss of
disintegrating values into which this civilization has
Heinz Ginzel, em.Prof. für Pharmakologie u. Toxikologie, University of Arcansas, USA