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Philip Morris wrong to call for tax increase on cigarettes, says Forest

Sun 5th March, 2017

Campaigners have criticised the world's biggest tobacco company after it was reported that Philip Morris, which manufactures brands such as Marlboro, is supporting an increase in taxes on cigarettes to encourage smokers to switch to alternative nicotine products.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

"It's very easy for fat cat executives to call for the tax on cigarettes to be increased. The hardest hit will be the less well-off including the low paid and the elderly who have to survive on a state pension."

He added: "We support the development of safer nicotine products including e-cigarettes because we support choice.

"But making smoking even more expensive when we already have punitive levels of taxation discriminates against consumers who choose to smoke."

Accusing Philip Morris of wanting to force smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and other products, Clark said:

"New nicotine products are great because they give smokers a choice. However, many smokers enjoy smoking and don't want to switch.

"Government, the anti-smoking industry and Philip Morris should respect that choice and focus on education not coercion."

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