Philip Morris’ submission on the TPP to the United States Government specifically identifies proposals to introduce plain packaging of cigarette packages. They argue that such plain packaging of cigarettes is “tantamount to expropriation on the use of long-held and extremely valuable property rights”.Extremely valuable, indeed; Philip Morris, Swiss for the purposes of arbitration, is a worried man. Throughout the world, his valuable property is being expropriated by governments which use it to point out the effects of his product:
- Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand, accounting for around 4300 to 4600 deaths per year.
- Half of the people who smoke today and continue smoking will eventually be killed by tobacco. Half of them will die in middle age.
- Globally, 1.3 billion people smoke. Each year tobacco causes five million premature deaths.
- Tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide. If current smoking patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2020.