Clinton welcomes Philip Morris tobacco admission
U.S. President Bill Clinton on Wednesday grudgingly welcomed Philip Morris Cos. Inc's admission that medical evidence shows smoking causes lung cancer, and said it was long overdue.
President Clinton addresses invited guests during a visit to Reddish Knob overlook in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest Wednesday.``This formal acknowledgment comes far too late, but still we must all welcome it,'' Clinton said during an environmental speech in Virginia. ``It can be the beginning of clearing the air.''
Philip Morris, the nation's largest cigarette maker, for the first time acknowledged on a new Internet site that medical evidence points to smoking as a cause of a number of lethal diseases, including lung cancer.
``After years of denial and deception, the Philip Morris company has admitted that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases,'' Clinton said.
``It certainly makes clear, as I have said for years, that the tobacco companies should answer for their actions in court, they should stop marketing their products to children, certainly they should do much more to reduce youth smoking,'' he added. ``So this is a good day for the cause of public health and our children in America.''
The Justice Department filed a massive lawsuit on September 22 against tobacco companies, including Philip Morris, seeking to recover much of the $20 billion spent by the federal government every year on smoking-related illnesses.