Tobacco Giant Philip Morris International Responds To John Oliver’s Viral Critiques From Last Week Tonight!

John Oliver takes on the tobacco companies

Well, at least they responded, right?!

Sunday’s edition of John Oliver‘s Last Week Tonight was a bit controversial, since its largest segment was all about the tobacco industry.

The host slammed the brutal legal tactics of tobacco companies like Philip Morris International, revealing that they sue poor countries like Togo and Uruguay over some dumb ishhh that they know the country can’t pay to fight them on.
[ Related: Last Week Tonight Ponders How The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Is Still A Thing! ]

Oliver also tackled their advertising, suggesting that they swap the Marlboro Man for Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat.

#JeffWeCan began trending on Twitter almost immediately and kept up until even Monday, eventually prompting a response from Philip Morris.

The company stated:

“On February 15, 2015, the ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ show dedicated a significant portion of its program to our company.

“‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ is a parody show, known for getting a laugh through exaggeration and presenting partial views in the name of humor. The segment includes many mischaracterizations of our company, including our approach to marketing and regulation, which have been embellished in the spirit of comedic license.

“While we recognize the tobacco industry is an easy target for comedians, we take seriously the responsibility that comes with selling a product that is an adult choice and is harmful to health.

“We support and comply with thousands of regulations worldwide ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ including advertising restrictions, penalties for selling tobacco products to minors, and substantial health warnings on packaging. We’re investing billions into developing and scientifically assessing a portfolio of products that have the potential to be less harmful and that are satisfying so smokers will switch to them. And, like any other company with a responsibility to its business partners, shareholders and employees, we ask only that laws protecting investments, including trademarks, be equally applied to us.”

They also provided some info, encouraging people to read about all of the steps they take to make sure people are informed about the potentially life-ending choices they are making.

Philip Morris also reinforced that their advertising is meant to be aimed at people who already use tobacco, not at new users.

Take a look at Oliver’s segment (below) and see what your think about the situation!

[Image via HBO.]

Feb 17, 2015 4:40pm PDT

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