09/07/2016 – Uruguay wins against Philip Morris

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Uruguay has won a six-year court battle against the U.S.-based tobacco giant Philip Morris. The international arbitration court has completely rejected the company’s demands, reported Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez. In Uruguay, smoking is prohibited in restaurants and many other buildings. There is also a ban on advertising, cigarette packages must carry large, graphic warnings of the dangers of smoking, and cigarettes cannot be marketed as “light”. In addition, taxes on tobacco have been increased numerous times. Philip Morris was seeking hefty compensation for these measures. President Vázquez emphasised that health and human life have higher priority than the interests of a tobacco company. He called on the international community to follow Uruguay’s example and not to be intimidated by these powerful corporations in the fight against the harm caused by smoking. Uruguay was the first Latin American country and the fifth nation in the world to ban smoking in public places. Vázquez, who worked as an oncologist before he became the president, is considered a fervent advocate for the protection of non-smokers.