Philip Morris International

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Philip Morris is the biggest tobacco firm in the world. It is owned by Altria Group.

Lobbying against plain packaging introduction in Scotland

When the Scottish government announced in 2013 that it would introduce further tobacco restrictions, including plain cigarette packaging to try to dissuade young people from starting smoking, the tobacco industry and Philip Morris International (PMI) adopted their typical tactic of using a 'third party' to deliver and separate the message from the companies. One such PMI 'media messenger' was the Scottish Grocers' Foundation, which has campaigned staunchly against plain packaging alongside the Scottish Wholesale Association. [1]

PMI launched a 'Plain Nonsense' offensive, pushing the questionable argument that plain packaging would lead to a rise in the illicit trade of cigarettes. It cited a report by former policy officer Will O'Reilly, which warned of the 'profound unintended consequences' of such a decision. O'Reilly was employed by Philip Morris to add weight to their case. [2]

The corporation also retains a lobbying and PR firm based in Scotland called Halogen Communications, which attempts to scaremonger policymakers over potential changes to tobacco regulation, for example by sending all MSPs a tobacco giant-funded KPMG report, presenting now-dismissed evidence for the rise in the illicit tobacco trade in Australia following the introduction of plain packaging.

Philip Morris has also made clear its intention to sue the Scottish government if it continues to try to introduce plain packaging. [3]

Lobbying firms

Former lobbying firms



  1. Holyrood Exposed: A Guide to Lobbying in, 12 October 2015, accessed 12 October 2015
  2. Former policy officer where???
  3. Holyrood Exposed: A Guide to Lobbying in, 12 October 2015, accessed 12 October 2015
  4. Matt Cartmell, Philip Morris cuts ties with Gardant Communications, 12 Jun 2012
  5. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
  6. Register Entry for 1 September 2008 to 30 November 2008 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015