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Philip Morris International Comments on English Court’s Plain Packaging Decision

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Philip Morris International (NYSE/Euronext Paris: PM) today comments on an English Court’s decision to uphold the UK’s plain packaging regulations.

In May 2015, PMI and other companies sought a ruling on whether those regulations, which make it illegal to use registered trademarks, were a proportionate public health measure and compliant with English law.

Marc Firestone, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of PMI, said:

“We are certainly disappointed but understand that the English Court ultimately deferred to the Parliament’s judgment about cigarette packaging. Inexplicably, however, the Court’s reasoning relies heavily on a 2006 decision by a judge in the United States in a case about US law to which PMI was not even a party, and did not concern plain packaging.

In conflict with basic rules of procedure, the Court relied on that case even though it was not included in the parties’ bundles of authorities, and the parties were not asked to address it at the hearing. This surprising departure from basic principles of English law raises serious questions about the process, and undoubtedly presents strong grounds for appeal.

The broader question, however, is what actions make the most sense for the seven million adult smokers in the UK. Despite the important principles in this one case, we’ve decided not to appeal.

We will instead maintain our focus on efforts to develop and commercialize scientifically substantiated reduced-risk products that we firmly believe will ultimately benefit UK smokers and public health much more than plain packaging.”

About Philip Morris International Inc. (“PMI”)

PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six of the world's top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the development and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (“RRPs”). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and industry-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. For more information, see www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.

Contact information

Media enquiries
Philip Morris International media office
+41-(0)58-242-4500
media@pmi.com

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