In court, tobacco executive condemns youth smoking
The top executive of Philip Morris, who took over the nation's largest cigarette company when the tobacco industry was under siege, admitted Monday that his company should do more to discourage children from smoking.
``It's wrong, it's just plain wrong,'' said Philip Morris President Michael Szymanczyk, whose company sells half of all the cigarettes in the United States. ``Kids shouldn't smoke. It's bad for your health. It's illegal. ... And finally, it's bad for business.''
Calling youth smoking a ``distraction,'' he said: ``If there's one thing I would like to make go away, it would be that.''
Szymanczyk, testifying for the first time in the landmark Florida smokers' trial, also told Miami-Dade Circuit Court jurors on Monday that his company faces tough challenges in winning back the trust of consumers and in making a cigarette that causes less damage to smokers.