Philip Morris fined for publishing ads

Marlboro Red

The advertisement campaign of its cigarette brand Marlboro cost Philip Morris approximately Rs50 million, according to Pakistan Today.

The court imposed a fine of Rs5,000 as per the tobacco control laws. This case was the first-ever against a tobacco giant in Asia, said National Coordinator, Coalition for Tobacco Control-Pakistan, Khurram Hashmi.

Marlboro Red

Marlboro cigarettes pack

The industry is not allowed to place advertisements in print media which are more than one square inch, according to section 7 of Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance 2002.

Hasmi said the tobacco industry for quite some time has been blatantly violating the laws by covertly offering cash rebates to its consumers, however, the tobacco control cell showed its commitment to the cause when it took a firm stand on this blatant violation and dragged the tobacco company in the court.

The Civil Magistrate Hyderabad took up the case in response to a report lodged by Tobacco Control Cell Coordinator. Civil Magistrate Hyderabad, Ahmed Nawaz Domki in his order said it was clear that the accused had violated the law and ignorance of the law was no excuse.

“In just a decade’s time, we are already far ahead of countries in our region by introducing and implementing tobacco control laws. We were among the first ones to introduce ‘Pictorial Health Warnings’ on cigarette packs in this region and now, we set yet another example as being first for making the company accountable,” Hashmi added.

This is the second setback suffered by the second largest cigarette manufacturer this year as Philip Morris Pakistan reduced the operations in its smallest factory, located in Mandra, near Rawalpindi due to financial constraints.

Philip Morris posted net loss of Rs284 million for the first three quarters of the year, ending September 30, 2011.

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