Philip Morris France fined 75,000 euros for illegal advertising

VAPING168 Report, December 4 news, according to foreign news reports, the world’s largest tobacco company’s lobbying to promote its cigarette substitutes has failed. On Friday, December 3, the French subsidiary of the tobacco company Philip Morris was sentenced by the Paris Criminal Court to a fine of 75,000 euros for illegal advertising of its IQOS heating tobacco device.

Philip Morris

Philip Morris France and Philip Morris Products must also pay 50,000 euros in losses to the two anti-tobacco associations that sued them-the National Anti-Smoking Commission (CNCT) and Demain sera non-smoker (DNF), the two companies Both violated the tobacco product law through the promotion of IQOS equipment.

This small electronic box has been on the market in France since 2017 and is suitable for tobacco refills mixed with glycerin. Its technology can prevent tobacco from burning. Philip Morris claims that the product is less harmful than traditional cigarettes because it does not produce tar, but there is no independent research confirming that the risks associated with use are reduced.

At the hearing on September 23, the company argued that it is necessary to distinguish between electronic devices and their refills. The first is whether it is a tobacco product, and advertising for this product is therefore not subject to regulations and related to tobacco products.

“For a major cigarette manufacturer, this is a failure of the entire industrial strategy.” Hugo Lévy, an attorney for AFP CNCT, commented when announcing the verdict, and welcomed the judge not to fall into the trap of the tobacco company’s argument.

“We have taken note of today’s decision and are studying the possibility of appealing the decision,” Philip Morris France President Jeanne Polis responded. “We insist that the accusations made by the CNCT are unfounded. We hope that the final outcome of the case will recognize the legality of our commercial practices for substitute products, which are heating rather than burning tobacco.”