Philippines: Philip Morris Plans to Make Cheap Marlboro Cigarettes

Marlboro cigarettes

Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PMFTC) in Philippines plans to produce cheaper cigarettes in order to compete with a local cigarettes brand, The PMFTC earlier asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to permit the company to come up with cheaper versions of its most popular cigarettes brand Marlboro to overtake the major competitor – local brand Mighty.

Emer Rojas, president of the New Vois Association of the Philippines told that when you permit tobacco companies to manufacture low-priced cigarettes to catch up with others, then tobacco users will just choose cheaper brands instead of quitting. As a result, fight with smoking ends up with its promotion.

To note that, in Philippines there was introduced sin tax law and its goal was to increase cigarette prices in order to discourage people from smoking and help smokers quit.

However, last month PMFTC, the joint venture of multinational Philip Morris and Lucio Tan’s Fortune Tobacco in a letter to BIR asked permission to produce four variants of its Marlboro products as low-priced cigarettes.

Premium brand of Marlboro is taxed higher than Mighty, cheap cigarettes brand.  PMFTC told that sales of Marlboro had dropped greatly because smokers were choosing cheaper cigarettes like Mighty.

In order to gain leadership on the tobacco market, the government of Philippines must allow the PMFTC to come up with four low-priced variants of Marlboro.  Those who are against this initiative, consider that it would undermine the health and revenue objectives of the law.

If PIMFTC comes out with cheaper Marlboro types, it is possible that the people would think that the premium brand has returned to its original price and therefore smokers will continue to patronize it.

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