[Virginia GASP]       The 2007 shareholder meeting of
                      Philip Morris/Altria

    In this web page you may find:
    -- why do the activists come to these meetings?
    -- setting of the scene;
    -- a summary of the meeting, as well as a description of demonstrations;
    -- Quotable Quotes;
    -- Excerpts from the Questions and Answers, aka Questions and Comments, portion of the meeting,
    -- Excerpts from the discussions surrounding the resolutions, and
    the entire text printed in the shareholder resolution booklet of the three health resolutions presented at the meeting,             along with the Philip Morris/Altria response opposing these resolutions:
    Informing Children of their rights if forced to incur secondhand smoke
    Stop all company sponsored campaigns allegedly oriented to prevent youth from smoking
    Get out of traditional tobacco business by 2010

        -- Media articles were extremely few, due to the web cast most likely, and are excerpted later.

easons why activists come to these shareholder meetings:
Other  web pages in this web site discuss past shareholder meetings.
And other web sites on the internet about corporate responsibility/irresponsibility.

Basically, in the opinion of the editor of this web site, the reasons why activists come to these shareholder meetings boils down to this:

Activists come to the meetings, because they care about LIFE.  Life is important. Choice is important, and there is NO choice where addiction is concerned.

The tobacco industry is about DEATH and ADDICTION and the MONEY and POWER tobacco brings them over LIVES and NATIONS.

The money tobacco companies make can be used to infiltrate the economies of all nations of the world and dominate and control the lives and economies of the people within those countries. The motto of Philip Morris, after all, is "We came, we saw, we conquered."

Is it "evil" to continue to manufacture and market and promote products which you admit will addict and sicken and ultimately kill those who use these products, as well as their unborn, as well as those around them, as well as the environment? The answer is YES, it is evil -- it is immoral -- it is unethical -- it is wrong -- it is anti-life.

This is unhealthy, wrong, immoral, and destroys families, cultures, and the environment.  It eliminates land for farming food and growing forests. Wildlife, the soil, rivers, and ground water are all contaminated and destroyed by the runoff from tobacco factories, and by the chemicals used in growing tobacco.  The field and factory workers may be damaged through their contact with nicotine and the chemicals in the growing and the manufacturing process, and the radioactivity in the tobacco leaves. 

Responsible companies in the past have withdrawn or canceled their products which caused illness or death. But not the tobacco companies. Indeed, when activists in 2007 asked in a resolution to Philip Morris/Altria and in a question to Reynolds American that these tobacco companies be responsible and stop the addiction and deaths by ceasing their manufacture and marketing of tobacco products, this was refused absolutely by both companies.

A court of law (US Judge Gladys Kessler, August, 2006) has already found them guilty of deceiving the public and their consumers, and of violating racketeering laws.  Philip Morris/Altria and Reynolds American -- tobacco companies -- are adjudicated racketeers. 

And now the tobacco executives and their companies are seeking to rent even more scientists to make it appear that they want to lessen the destruction of the tobacco products.

They also are renting former health spokespersons to help legislate a rating of tobacco products as to which product will kill the consumer more slowly.

Someday, in a court somewhere, tobacco executives will be judged for all their crimes against people including their own employees and their customers, against the unborn, against the land that could have grown food for the hungry, against the bees and other wildlife, and the environment. 
In the meantime, the activists come to speak out against the immorality of the tobacco industry, the evil, and to work for justice, for life.

The scene is set.

The 2007 Altria meeting was held in smoke-free surroundings on April 26, 2007 at the Kraft Foods plant in East Hanover, New Jersey.  Louis Camilleri, the CEO of Altria, announced it would be the last meeting of Altria at this Kraft location, with the spin off of much of the Kraft stock, and sending a percentage of Kraft stock to each of the Altria shareholders.

    As usual, the shareholders had to pass through a security tent, with their persons and possessions subject to machine and sometimes personal search.  This has been the company procedure at least since the early 1990's.

    While most ordinary shareholders are allowed to register and then wander alone about the refreshments tent and then go to the auditorium to select their seats, and even use the restroom alone, those who are known activists, or health advocates, are treated differently.  Activists are joined immediately upon registration by a guard who leads or follows you through the refreshment/meeting materials tent, and escorts you to your seat in the auditorium. 
Each guard has a map of the auditorium, with the names of those who are advocates, and their position in the auditorium.  Large "RESERVED" placards are placed in the seats.  Groups of advocates, no matter how small or large the group, are divided, so that one person may be on one side of the auditorium, and the other on the opposite side of the auditorium.   If you should go to the restroom, the guard may either follow you into the restroom, or hang about outside the restroom waiting for your return sometimes with a comment about wanting to help you find your reserved spot in the auditorium.

    In addition, there are guards with walkie talkie type equipment at various checkpoints outside and inside the tents and auditorium.  All of this has the appearance of paranoia, and it has been the company procedure at least since the early 1990's.

    To further
understand the setting of the scene, it is important to remember that formerly secret documents of the tobacco industry, when required by the courts to be released, revealed that the CEOs had been coached by others on many possible questions that activists might direct to them.

    Indeed, the entire meeting and its presentation could appear to some people to be geared towards the image of the company and litigation against it.

    For example, the fact that there has been an audio web cast of the entire meeting in 2006 and 2007, available for one month on the company web site,  has two apparent major benefits for the company: 
(1) it portrays them as open and unafraid of criticism, "transparent" in the 2006 words of Louis Camilleri, and
(2) it effectively eliminates most media participation

Fewer reporters are sent to the meetings = there are fewer articles on any dissidence = less chance for the public in general to know what is happening. 

Thus, while the number of health advocates attending these meetings has grown over the years from one person, the Rev. Michael Crosby, to well over 100 people (counting those inside and those demonstrating outside the meeting), and while the advocates call into question many of the actions and words of the company throughout the world, very little of this is reported to the general public, including other shareholders, except on web sites of health advocates.

Other Web Sites on corporate responsibility include:
refers to past meetings and discussions of why activists go to these meetings, and the "armed camp" atmosphere of the Altria meetings, health resolutions, question and answer sessions


    It is also important to remember that each year, there appears to be a theme  from the management that recurs throughout the meeting.  For instance, in 2005, it appeared to be an emphasis upon the "kinder, gentler," although misleading, image of the CEO, Louis Camilleri, and the company, despite their dedication to producing and marketing products which addict and kill when used as intended, rather an evil approach to consumers some could say.  That "kinder, gentler" image theme appeared again in 2006.

    In 2007, it appeared that there was a recurring company theme of a Louis Camilleri who was so very saddened and hurt at being vastly misunderstood that he was driven to lash out as though in righteous anger, but a Camilleri who nonetheless proclaimed his anxious desire to work with activists on what Camilleri called "our common goals."  This planned or unplanned loss of temper by Camilleri towards shareholders was encouraged by planned or unplanned heckling from two old white men in the audience who shouted at the advocates, rudely and loudly counted out the minutes and seconds the person was speaking (one is allowed 2 minutes for a question), tried to take over the microphone from activists, and both of whom waited in line to ask questions about the company including why the advocates were allowed to speak.  This allowed Camilleri the opportunity to shrug and make remarks about "a democracy."

There are many Quotable Quotes, here are just a few, given in full context later on this page, from the 2007 meeting:
1.    After Mr. Camilleri's repeated references to "our common goals," and to the "celebration" of the "exciting times" of spinning off Kraft and creating a new company, etc., and at least two hecklers in the audience who angrily shouted about the "lunatic fringe" at the meeting, then the Rev. Michael Crosby pointed out that the bottom line of the company is not the bottom line of those for whom morality is uppermost.

The Rev. Michael Crosby:
"Yes, Mr. Camilleri.  My name is Michael Crosby.  I'm a Capuchin-Franciscan from Milwaukee.  And being a member of a religious order, our bottom line is morality.  And, I think it would be very good when you have your discussions back and forth to realize that the reason why people like us who have our shares in a restricted fund so that any money coming in is going to be able to challenge the bottom line, because the bottom line of this company affects morality.

You are legal, but not everything that is legal is moral.  Every one of the Board of Directors, every one of the shareholders, is making money on an immoral product, which if used as intended will kill, because it addicts.  I think that as we separate this company and "celebrate" -- as you say, "celebrate,"  "it's an exciting time," --  it can't be an exciting time if you have moral convictions.

This company is doing well within an immoral industry.  It is operating legally, but it is immoral in terms of all of our faith traditions.  If you any of you go to mosque on Friday, synagogue on Saturday, or church on Sunday, you know that your religion does not endorse tobacco use and smoking.  We can say what we want about it, but we're having a product that kills.

And every one of us has it on our conscience.  And every one will be judged ultimately by our God as to what -- how we're making profits.  And so, as we create this new company free of Kraft, I think it's important for us to begin by realizing exactly what we're doing, legally yes.  Within a legal system, the company is trying to do the best with a bad product.  But, the bad product is killing, and we need to always remember that.

And I ask for the members of the Board and the shareholders to realize that, and to realize why people are here, and why we'll always have a different bottom line."

2.  David Trinnes, senior at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio:
"And no matter how hard you try to spin it, there's nothing responsible about manufacturing a product that kills when used as directed."

3.  Ruth Malone, nurse with the Nightingales
"I'm Ruth Malone, and I'm here with a group of nurses who want to call attention to the cost of the profits that you've been discussing.  And given your comments and some of the earlier comments in the meeting, one would think that Altria was the new public health tobacco company.

But company documents, which I have reviewed personally, show that beginning in the mid-1990s in a long term plan called Project Sunrise, the company embarked on a plan to undermine public health efforts and improve its image, which it certainly appears to have been successful in doing."

4.  Louis Camilleri, CEO, Altria, near the opening of the 2007 meeting
"This is an exciting time for Altria.  Our tobacco operating companies have some of the world's most valuable tobacco brands, led by Marlboro.  Our financial resources provide us with a significant competitive advantage, and Altria enjoys a very strong balance sheet.  Our ability to generate cash flow remains undiminished.

... As I said at the outset, our overriding goal is to continue to deliver shareholder value over the long term and to live up to our illustrious, historical record in that regard."

5.  Stephen Ross, student
"We are the kids who have realized that you aim your deadly product at us to make money, who are getting sick because of someone else's choice to smoke, who are standing up and making a difference.

And we won't go away.  We will come back year after year after year until you are willing to put lives ahead of your bank accounts."

6.  Edward Sweda, attorney and shareholder
In her [US District Court Judge Gladys Kessler] ruling last August, she determined that the tobacco company defendants violated the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.

Therefore, the tobacco company defendants, including Philip Morris, are now adjudicated racketeers.  Significantly, Judge Kessler found that the company defendants, including Philip Morris, have not transformed themselves since the Master Settlement Agreement was signed in 1998.

Summary, and Excerpts from the 2007 Altria shareholder meeting

Please note -- The Resolutions.

    Resolutions presented at the meeting are given below, both the discussions at the April 26, 2007 meeting, and the printed text of the resolutions and the opposing statement from Altria, as printed in the shareholders' resolution booklet.  Resolutions must go through a rigorous legal process in front of the federal SEC before they are allowed to be presented at a shareholder meeting. 

    In this web site, certain points are emphasized with the use of bold face, italics, underlining, and colors.

    Most of the votes are cast long before the meeting is held.

    The results of the 2007 voting, percentage in favor:
    Informing children of their rights if forced to incur secondhand smoke
          3.7% in favor
    Stop all company sponsored campaigns allegedly oriented to prevent youth from smoking
          3.3% in favor
    Get out of traditional tobacco business by 2010
          1.1% in favor

    The first part of the 2007 meeting was a look at the past, present, and future for Altria, including the separation of Kraft.   No discussion of the rumored split between PM USA (Philip Morris USA) and PMI (Philip Morris International) was given.

Louis Camilleri , the chief executive officer, commented on Philip Morris USA, noting:
"To enhance its growth profile, PM USA has embarked on an adjacency strategy.  It took the first step towards this goal in 2006 with a test market launch of Toboka, a smoke-free, spit-free tobacco product that provides a new way for adult smokers to enjoy tobacco in a pouch.  PM USA has learned much from this test.  While I cannot share our findings for obvious competitive reasons, I can state with confidence that these learnings will be translated into further action, and that a number of initiatives will be announced as the year unfolds.

PM USA is making significant investments in product development, consumer research and other areas, including the construction of a $350 million Center for Research and Technology in Richmond, Virginia, which is scheduled for completion later this year.  (Aerial photo projected on screen at meeting.)  The Center will be dedicated to enhancing scientific research, developing new technologies and new products that might help address the harm caused by smoking.

PM USA recognizes that its long-term success is dependent upon its ability to respond to society's evolving expectations of a responsible tobacco company.  Its responsibility initiatives are described in detail on its web site, which I urge you to visit.  You will find there, information on PM USA's youth smoking prevention initiatives and on Quit Assist, a free resource that helps connect smokers to a wealth of expert and independent smoking cessation information.

PM USA continues to be the only major cigarette manufacturer supporting regulation of the tobacco industry by the US Food and Drug Administration.  This February, legislation was introduced in the US Congress that would grant the FDA comprehensive regulatory authority over all tobacco products sold in the United States.  We believe that this proposed legislation offers the prospect of effectively reducing harm and providing real solutions to the many complex issues involving tobacco."

Louis Camilleri , the chief executive officer, commented on Philip Morris International [PMI], noting:
"PMI continues to pursue several business development opportunities.  In 2006, for example, PMI re-organized its investment in the Dominican Republic to focus exclusively on tobacco.  And in early 2007, PMI acquired control and increased its share holding in Lakson Tobacco in Pakistan to more than 97%.

PMI is making significant investments in product innovation to drive growth.  Recent examples include Marlboro Wides, launched in Mexico and a number of European Union markets, and Marlboro Filter Plus.  This new, machine-tested, one milligram product launched successfully in Korea late last year is a real innovation in terms of cigarette and filter construction as well as packaging.

PMI is vigorously pursuing numerous societal alignment initiatives.  It continues to advocate for effective regulation of all tobacco products and to seek the adoption of excise tax policies that are fair to all tobacco industry participants, and that meet government revenue and health objectives.  These important topics are covered in depth on PMI's web site.  I encourage you to visit it to learn more about the company's commitment to responsibility.

PMI strongly supports meaningful tobacco regulation in every country where its products are sold, including measures that address health concern and most provisions of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

PMI continues to dedicate significant resources to the important challenge of stamping out the trade in contraband and counterfeit cigarettes and is working with numerous governments and the other organizations to fight such trade.

In addition, PMI continues to forcefully advocate laws that establish a minimum age to purchase tobacco products in countries where none currently exist.  And it supports youth smoking prevention programs.  In some 60 countries, these programs focus on preventing youth access to tobacco.  PMI does not want children to smoke, and it does not want retailers to sell its tobacco products to children.

To conclude on PMI, it has significant opportunities for future growth with an estimated 15.4% share of the international cigarette market.  With a superb brand portfolio, a pipeline of new products and numerous potential business development opportunities combined with its commitment to responsibility.  I believe that PMI will continue to flourish in the years ahead.

This is an exciting time for Altria.  Our tobacco operating companies have some of the world's most valuable tobacco brands, led by Marlboro.  Our financial resources provide us with a significant competitive advantage, and Altria enjoys a very strong balance sheet.  Our ability to generate cash flow remains undiminished.

Over the four-year period from 2006 through 2009, we project that cash flow will reach a cumulative level of some $41 billion, and we plan to continue using our strong cash flow to reward you, our shareholders.

In closing, I would like to remind you of a study by Professor Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School, comparing the total shareholder return of all original member companies of the S & P 500.  Since the S & P 500 Index was first created on March 1, 1957, some 50 years ago, through the end of 2006, it has delivered an average annual return of 10.83%.  Over the same period, Altria provided an annual return of 19.88% or nearly twice as much as the average, and was, by far, the best performing company.

As I said at the outset, our overriding goal is to continue to deliver shareholder value over the long term and to live up to our illustrious, historical record in that regard.  Thank you.

The meeting is now open for questions and comments.  This period will be followed by the presentation of proposals for voting.  As noted in the agenda, each speaker is kindly asked to limit his or her comments to two minutes."

The Questions and Comments session, approximately 40 minutes long, included questions by activists from around the nation, and indeed from other countries as well.  Each person was allotted two minutes to ask the question.  There were two aisles in the Kraft auditorium. and employees with hand-held microphones stood up for the questioners.  Mr. Camilleri alternated between the aisles.  In some past meetings, follow-up questions were allowed, but in recent years the microphone has been turned off once the questioner is finished, except for analysts or others friendly to the company.

The first question was asked by Anne Morrow Donley of Virginia GASP, USA.

Louis Camilleri
"Madame, good morning."

Anne Morrow Donley
"Good morning, Mr. Camilleri.  My name is Anne Morrow Donley.  I am a shareholder from Virginia.  Some years ago, Philip Morris/Altria promised that they would no longer intervene or lobby against restrictions on smoking in public places.  You have broken that promise.

This year in Virginia, my home state, you intervened more than once.  A bill passed the [General] Assembly, which would have taken the Virginia Clean Indoor Air Act backwards.  The Governor, Timothy Kaine, amended that bill to make all restaurants no-smoking.   Philip Morris lobbied to try to get an exemption to the amendment to say that restaurants with ABC licenses would be exempt, which would in effect have made very few restaurants in Virginia smoke-free.

The Governor did not go with that.  Philip Morris then lobbied, saying that the Governor's amendment would include little pushcarts on sidewalks and also the catering of private affairs, which was untrue.  However, the House Majority Leader, whose bill it was, used that Philip Morris argument to defeat the Governor's amendment.

So, in conversations with your staff, the Reverend Michael Crosby has learned that you are no longer sticking by your promise, which we've already learned, and that you will be selective in the future about where you apply your lobbying and where you don't, and where you keep this promise and where you don't.

So, my question to you is two-part.  First of all, what criteria will you use for this selectivity?  And, secondly, what are your plans for lobbying in Virginia next year on restrictions on smoking in public and in the years to come?  Thank you."

Louis Camilleri: 
"Mrs. Donley, thank you for your question.  I'm glad you raised this topic.  You are correct.  We have said in the past, and in fact in 2005 and 2006, we refrained from lobbying on smoking restrictions.  However, we've revised that policy.  And I'll explain why we've revised that policy.

I'm glad you brought up the issue of Virginia.  Virginia's legislature proposed a number of smoking restrictions and a bill that we, in fact, supported.  And it passed.  It went to Governor Kaine, as you've said.  And in Virginia, the Governor is allowed to amend the law.

We felt his amendments were too Draconian and extreme, because a complete reading of his amendments would have banned smoking on outside patios, in private catered events, outdoor festivals, and things of that nature.  We felt that was extreme.  So we -- yes, we intervened.

So, in terms of our criteria going forward, as we've always said, we prefer accommodations to total bans.  In certain places, we will support smoking restrictions where they do not exist.  But, to the extent the bills being proposed are, in our views, too extreme, where they impinge on individuals' property, then I think we have a duty to adult smokers to defend their own rights, because they do have rights.

So, thank you for your question.  [Turning to the other side of the room,] Sir?"

Anne Morrow Donley: 
[microphone turned off at first]  "To clarify the record, the bill you supported would have removed the requirement that restaurants must either be smoke-free or provide a large No Smoking section, and instead required that restaurants that permit smoking, no matter how large they are, would just have to post a sign saying Smoking Permitted.  And that of course, would be going backwards.  Thank you."

Louis Camilleri: 
"Well, to correct that statement for the benefit of everybody else in the room, the bill provided for a total smoking ban in all restaurants unless the owner of that restaurant posted a billboard outside his restaurant saying smoking was permitted.  That's the clear view of the bill.  Thank you."

[Web Editor's note: 
You may read the GASP discussion of the legislative history of the bills, including excerpts from media articles, in this web site, which differs from Mr. Camilleri's interpretation.
You may also see the current law and what it covers in Virginia.
You may even read, on the Virginia state web site, the language of the bill which Philip Morris supported, noting the crossed out words which would have eliminated parts of the current Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act, noting the italicized words which would be the new language.  http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?071+ful+HB2422ER

You may also read excerpts from The Richmond Times-Dispatch on the Altria meeting.]

The second question was from a man from Deutsche Bank, Mark Greenberg, who addressed Mr. Camilleri as "Louis," and whose question related to the timing of the spin off of PMI, which Mr. Camilleri did not divulge. 

The third question was from a woman from Indonesia.

Louis Camilleri: 
"Madame, good morning."

Dina Kania, from Indonesia: 
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  My name is Dina Kania, youth advocate with the National Commission for Child Protection.  I am from Indonesia.  And I am here today representing Indonesia's youth and children.  While you celebrate this 'phenomenal profits' this company has made, my heart is heavy because I carry the big burden of what your celebration means for me.  Good news for you is actually very bad news for me in my country.

You say you don't advertise to minors, but Philip Morris advertises everywhere in Indonesia:  on billboards, in bus stops, television, posters, and even near schools.  In other words, minors see your advertisements every day.  On March 30th,  2007, less than a month ago, I went to the human beatbox concert sponsored by A Mild, a product of Sampoerna.  I saw children as young as five years old attending the concert, and spotted some very young smokers.

The children were exposed to A Mild logos printed on banners, T-shirts and basketball hoops, and they had to witness sales, promotion girls offering discount cigarettes.  Because Indonesia's tobacco control laws are not -- have not caught up with the rest of the world, and when you say you're not breaking any law, it really rings hollow.

But, you are blatantly violating your own international marketing standards.  You committed to stop sponsorships of sporting events, advertising on television, celebrity endorsements and advertising that appealed to youth by December 31, 2002.  It is April, 2007 on my calendar, if that be so in yours as well.  Five years on, and your company shamelessly continues to promote to my generation.

Your company is not a responsible corporation in my country.  Why have you not shown your responsibility and honor your own guidelines and stop advertising in sponsorship activities in Indonesia?  Thank you."

[Web Editor's Note:  Photos of A Mild promotions were displayed to meeting attendees as Dina Kania spoke.]

Louis Camilleri: 
"Well, thank you for your question.  I think it's misleading to try to simplify what are very complex issues.  As you know, we entered Indonesia through the acquisition of Sampoerna.  And, as I mentioned in my remarks, we have 28% of the market.  And as you know, the market is composed predominantly, some more than 95% of the market, of tobacco products that are called Kreteks that include clove.

And they are particularly Indonesian brands.   You find them n a few other places, but not the way they are found in Indonesia.  And Indonesia historically has been a very protected industry.  Rather than trying to criticize us and come up with various examples, some of which do not withstand scrutiny, I think you should be applauding what we've done since we've been to Indonesia, because we have taken a leadership role.

We have merged the Kretek and the wide-filtered cigarette association, and we have persuaded them that it is in the best interest of the industry to come up with various restrictions on marketing, on youth access, and on regulation of the tobacco industry generally.  We are in discussions with the government there.  We have supported tax increases, as you are aware.  And you know that there's a lot of discussions within the government and the legislature to come up with marketing restrictions.  So, we share the same goal.

The way we can influence events is to be present in the market.  And if we are a leader in that market, we clearly have a lot more voice to be able to make changes.  We share a lot of common goals, and we will remain committed to trying to get fair, reasonable but strong legislation in place to ensure that the industry in totality will be viewed as a much more responsible industry in Indonesia.

So, thank you very much for coming."

Louis Camilleri:  
"Madame, good morning."

Sherry Racine, Corporate Accountability International (formerly INFACT):  
"Good morning.  My name is Sherry Racine, and I'm an organizer with Corporate Accountability International.  For nearly two decades, we've watched as Kraft has provided cover for Philip Morris' behind the scenes political maneuvering designed to weaken public health regulations including the Global Tobacco Treaty.

The Kraft spin-off dramatically reduces the financial and political clout of Philip Morris/Altria.  We are, however, all too aware that the Kraft spin-off and presumed separation of Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International could pave the way for Philip Morris to pursue new tobacco markets even more aggressively.

Of these markets, it is perhaps no accident that Philip Morris International has targeted Columbia and Indonesia as two of its major expansion areas in the two years since the Global Tobacco Treaty has become international law.  These two countries are among a dwindling minority of those that have not yet ratified the treaty.

Today, we have with us Corporate Accountability advocates from both Columbia and Indonesia who bring with them a clear message that Philip Morris is not welcome there.  This message is echoed around the world.  As Philip Morris International zeros in on the developing world to expand its markets, more and more countries are demanding accountability from the tobacco industry.

There is a growing movement for effective and enforceable tobacco controls, as well as for continued vigilance in exposing and challenging Philip Morris/Altria's attempts to undermine these public health policies.

Mr. Camilleri, my question for you is this, what steps will you take to ensure that Philip Morris International heeds the call of people around the world to both stop its aggressive expansion into countries that have not ratified the Global Tobacco Treaty, and to stop undermining health policy in those countries that have?"

Louis Camilleri:  
"Well, thank you for your question.  We have these exchanges, because I wouldn't call them debates, every year.  And I have to tell you, I try to listen hard to what you say.  But, I'm always distraught by the fact that your skepticism, your mistrust, I'd go even as far as saying your hatred, just completely blinds your judgment.

What you are saying has no reality in fact.  We support, and we've said it, and there is ample evidence of our support of the major provisions of the FCTC.  I think that you, and many in your camp, just focus on what separates us.  And the list of what separates us is a lot shorter than the one that we have in common.

And I think we're sort of losing an historic opportunity to be able to join forces to actually achieve things that will change.  You sit there and say we're not welcome in Colombia and Indonesia.  I can tell you, we are very welcome in Colombia and Indonesia, because we participate in the economy and the vibrancy of the economy.  And we bring a lot of responsibility to a very controversial industry.

There are a lot of issues out there, and tobacco is a very complex industry.  For example, did you know that 50% of the countries of the world, 50%, do not have a minimum age law requirement for purchasing cigarettes.  That's outrageous.  And we're doing everything we can to change that.

So, instead of trying to attack us on a little laundry list of certain things we disagree on, I think we should join forces on those we do agree on, and move the needle.  So, thank you for coming.


Ruth Malone, Nightingales:
"I'm Ruth Malone, and I'm here with a group of nurses who want to call attention to the cost of the profits that you've been discussing.  And given your comments and some of the earlier comments in the meeting, one would think that Altria was the new public health tobacco company.

But company documents, which I have reviewed personally, show that beginning in the mid-1990s in a long term plan called Project Sunrise, the company embarked on a plan to undermine public health efforts and improve its image, which it certainly appears to have been successful in doing.

This project included what were called, and I'm quoting from a document, "carefully orchestrated efforts to pit public health groups against one another,"  "to create schisms," another quote, that would keep such groups from being effective in reducing tobacco use and developing more effective tobacco product regulation.

Clearly this project, if successful, will lead to many more deaths, and much more suffering from tobacco caused disease.  Is this project or other efforts like it still continuing?  And if not, when did they stop?  And if they are continuing, how do you reconcile this with the company's plans to be socially responsible and to achieve so-called societal alignment?"

Louis Camilleri:  
"Well, thank you for your question.  I'm not familiar with [what] you call Project Sunshine.  What is very important is that for some time now, we have made a public pledge to advocate strong regulation of the tobacco industry in every single market in which we operate.  That should give you certain confidence.

Take this country, we are the only tobacco company supporting the Food and Drug Administration's -- legislation for the Food and Drug Administration to assume regulatory authority for the FDA.  The tobacco industry is a very complex industry.  And one needs to have a comprehensive set of regulations and to avoid inconsistencies.  And regretfully, the world is full of inconsistencies in terms of regulating tobacco.

For example, in the European Union, they have banned descriptives.  They have, nevertheless, continued to mandate tar and nicotine and carbon monoxide numbers.  So, if you ban descriptives, and you retain numbers, there's a huge inconsistency.  Products are treated differently.  Cigarettes in Belgium have graphic health warnings.  Roll-your-own-tobacco does not have graphic health warnings.  And I could go on for the next hour.

But, the point here is to have a well thought through comprehensive, consistent, regulatory scheme, and not just a laundry list of items that potentially conflict with each other.  But, to address your question, we are very committed.  And I think if you went to our web site and saw the examples there, we are extremely committed to having fair, strong regulation of the entire tobacco industry.

And we are committed to do everything in our power to ensure that children will not smoke and that we can do everything in our power to come up with products that have the potential to reduce the risk of harm caused by cigarettes.  So, thank you."

Ruth Malone:
"But, you haven't answered my question."

Louis Camilleri:
"I think I have.


Kathryn Mulvey, Corporate Accountability International:
"Does the nurse have -- want to ask a question?"

Louis Camilleri:
"No.  I think it's your turn."

Kathryn Mulvey, Corporate Accountability International:
"OK.  Good morning.  My name is Kathryn Mulvey.  Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of Corporate Accountability International, which is incidentally, working with NGOs and governments around the world.

We're more than willing to join forces with those that are serious about public health protection, and are really pleased with the advances that have been made through the World Health Organization and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control [FCTC] toward really consistent global standards in this area.

Mr. Camilleri, last year, you ridiculed health advocates and dismissed us as people living in the past.  Yet, despite your attempts to position Philip Morris/Altria as a new and reformed corporation, your actions speak otherwise.

For decades, tobacco corporations have sought to generate doubt about the deadly effects of your products.  In the 1970s, your corporation began marketing "low tar" and "light" cigarettes to appeal to health conscious customers, even though you knew that these products offered no health benefits or reduced risks.

In August, 2006, US District Court Judge Gladys Kessler barred tobacco corporations from using these false and misleading descriptors.  And yet, a few weeks later, Philip Morris/Altria asked Judge Kessler if you could continue to use the "low tar" and "light" labels outside the US, despite her earlier ruling and your knowledge about the falsehood of these descriptors.

Furthermore, the Global Tobacco Treaty prohibits the use of misleading descriptors.  The 146 countries that have ratified want to leave this deception in the past.  And they're backed by international law.

In 2001, Philip Morris/Altria, British American Tobacco, and Japan Tobacco signed the International Tobacco Marketing Standards Agreement, which includes a commitment to halt sponsorship of Formula 1 auto racing.  While BAT and JT have followed -- have ceased Formula 1 sponsorship -- your corporation continues to sponsor these races.

You're violating an agreement you signed six years ago and the Global Tobacco Treaty, which includes a ban on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.  So, Mr. Camilleri, it appears that you are the one living in the past.  And when Philip Morris/Altria fails to live up to the times and defies life-saving advances in international policy and standards, why should the public or policy makers believe that you've changed your ways?"

Louis Camilleri:
"I'm sorry that you may have felt that I ridiculed you last year, because that wasn't my intention.  I do listen to what you have to say.  However, when you throw documents at me that are 30 or 40 years old, I say you're -- it's stuck in the past.  And I think, as I said earlier, we're missing a sort of historic opportunity to work on a number of things that we have in common.

I do want to address the Department of Justice lawsuit and what you said about Judge Kessler.  As you well know, that ruling is stayed.  And it is currently on appeal.  Because of that, I can't comment too much on it.  But, everybody in this room should be aware that a lot of the same documents and a lot of the same witnesses appeared in different courts.  And those courts arrived at different conclusions.

And, we very respectfully disagree with Judge Kessler's conclusions, both in terms of the facts in both -- and in terms of the law.  And we are cautiously optimistic that we will prevail on appeal.

With regards to Formula 1 -- I think it's important to note that BAT, Japan Tobacco, and ourselves, are -- tried, to come up with a code.  And, the intention at the time was to get everybody in the tobacco industry to sign that agreement, as you know full well.  Since then, nobody has signed it.  And, as you know, in the ensuing years, the industry has continued to consolidate, and a number of formidable competitors have been formed.

Each company has chosen to decide what to do in terms of its own ability to compete fairly in each market in which it does business.  Formula 1 is not a new thing to Philip Morris International.  Philip Morris International has been in Formula 1 for more than 40 years.  BAT, JT have come in and out at least five times.  Imperial Tobacco was in Formula 1, and it pulled out some time ago.  And, I could go on.

The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of Formula 1 races today are not branded.  And you know that.  So, we will continue to sponsor Formula 1.  And, I'll tell you why -- because Marlboro today is under attack from very cheap brands worldwide, some of them subsidized by discriminatory excise taxes, which you would think public health would do something about.

Well, to ensure that Marlboro's brand equity remains strong, we feel that an association with Ferrari enhances its premium image, and that's why we do it.  So, thank you.


Yul Francisco Dorado, Coordinator, Latin America, Corporate Accountability International -- He read his statement in Spanish; a woman read the English translation:
"I work as the Latin America Coordinator for Corporate Accountability International, supporting the ratification and implementation of the FCTC.  In Latin America, there's a great commitment to the public health agenda, and a majority of countries have established regulations controlling the marketing and sale of tobacco products.

In Latin America, Philip Morris/Altria operates with a double  standard.  On one hand, your web site informs of a commitment not to sell products to youth.  But on the other hand, all of the publicity and promotional strategies of Philip Morris are focused on sending messages to youth -- adolescent boys and girls -- in order to addict them to brands like Marlboro.

I have here several photos of Philip Morris marketing from my country [someone held up the photos for the audience to see].  In the photographs, you can observe a few examples that use text and images attractive to youth to send messages about the pleasure of smoking at parties, sports events, family events, inviting them to participate in a raffle for high-speed motorcycles, especially designed for adolescents.

I also have a picture of vending machines in Colombia that dispense single cigarettes and are strategically located next to freezers that sell ice cream, a favorite treat of boys and girls. 

Mr. Camilleri, my nation of Colombia is widely regarded as a place of violence.  But, it is the violence of the marketing practices of Philip Morris and all the other tobacco transnationals that have taken far more innocent lives than all of the death from political violence over the last 50 years."

Louis Camilleri:
"Could I ask you to get to the point, please?"

Continuing -- Yul Francisco Dorado, Coordinator, Latin America, Corporate Accountability International:
"Thanks.  Cigarettes kill more people ... "

Louis Camilleri:
"And then, we can try to get to everybody else."

Yul Francisco Dorado (still speaking in his language, English interpretation then read by someone else):
"... than war, not just in Colombia, but throughout the world.  In Colombia, 30,000 people die each year from tobacco related causes.  Today's image of Philip Morris is of a business that uses boys and girls to improve its profits, making them consumers of a deadly product.  Mr. Camilleri, when will you give instructions to the managers of Philip Morris in Latin America and throughout the world to end advertising and promotions that addict boys and girls to tobacco from a young age? ...

[Heckling from two older white men in audience, asking the man to sit down and saying that his time is up.]

Louis Camilleri, interrupting:
"OK.  So, I think your time is up, sir.  Let me address what you're trying to say, because I think I understand what you're trying to get up to.  One can ..."

[Someone calls out to let the man continue.]

Louis Camilleri:
"I know what his question is.  He just asked for it.  Right?  And we are --
Look at the queue.  You can't monopolize the Question and Answer session.  I'm sorry, especially when all there is, is a complete litany of drivel.  I'm shocked that you continue to say that we use kids in all these countries.  You have zero proof of it."
[Someone holds up the photographs again.]

"I'll tell you one thing.  I've looked at your web site, specifically with -- concerning Latin America.  And you make all sorts of attacks there that are unsubstantiated.  In fact, I happen to have one here.  You have on your web site that we have back cover advertising.  And this is the magazine on your web site."  [Mr. Camilleri held up a magazine.]
"Look what's on the back cover."  [Mr. Camilleri turned the magazine to show the back cover to the audience.]
"It's a shoe advertisement.  Your internet says that it's our brand which is in the magazine.

OK?  So, if we're going to have a debate, let's have a debate based on facts, truths.  And, let's be transparent, and let's move the needle forward, rather than trying to come here and continuing to attack us on stuff that has no basis of fact.  So, thank you.


Sharon Brown:
"Good morning, Mr. Camilleri, Board, and other members of Altria.  My name is Sharon Brown.  I'm a shareholder from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I would like to go straight to the facts and truth.  I'd also like to talk numbers.  We are actually talking a lot of numbers this morning.  You mentioned that you feel that we have a strong balance sheet as a company called Altria.

In preparation for this meeting, I was reading an article about a shareholder who was sitting at a bridge table saying she was really, really thankful that all of the stupid people keep smoking, because her profits just kept escalating.  A number that I'd like to make sure is ingrained in everyone's mind is 3-1-6-8-0-0-0-0, very quickly, that's $31.68 million.

Let me give you some more facts and truths.  Deaths caused by lung cancer every year, and these are only US fatalities, 124,000; death due to heart disease related to tobacco use, 108,000; deaths related to chronic lung disease from tobacco use, 90,000, for a total of 322,000 per year.  Multiply that by 98.4, and you get the magic number of $31.68 million.

The potential lives lost per year by men, 3.3 million life years, excuse me, that is total years, life years.  The potential life lost by women, 2.2 million."

[Heckling from a white male in the audience.]

"Excuse me, sir, I have the mike.  Thank you.  40 times men, 14.4 for women, times those numbers, and you get the magic number 31.58.  Let me give you another number ..."

Louis Camilleri, interrupting:
"Could you come to your point, sometime?"

Sharon Brown:
"$19,806 per year, that is the federal poverty level for a family of four, the income per year.  The numbers are off. Do you agree with this shareholder's statement, 'Thank goodness for all those stupid people who keep smoking,"?  And a second question, and probably most importantly, how do you, your employees, and your Board sleep at night?  Thank you."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.  Well, I think all of us associated with Altria
are very proud of being associated with a phenomenal company.  And, we're very proud about our history, and we're very proud of what it is we are doing today, and our plans for the future.  And, we recognize that tobacco creates harm, disease, and death.

And, we are trying to do everything we can in our power to come up with products that have the potential to reduce harm, to advocate for regulation that will reduce harm.  We know what our responsibilities are.  We think we have appropriate strategies in place.  And, as I said earlier, we have a lot of objectives that are common to those who are anti-tobacco.

But, as I said last year, if your objective is to destroy this company, then that's where we separate in terms of the paths that we follow.  If your objective is to reduce harm caused by tobacco, then we can have a discussion.  So, thank you.


Anna White, Coordinator, Essential Action's Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control Programs:
"Good morning, Mr. Camilleri.  My name is Anna White.  I'm the Coordinator of Essential Action's Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control ProgramsI'm here today with Dina Kania of Indonesia, and over 100 youth from 15 different states around the US here inside the meeting and outside.

Last year, more than 100 public health groups around the world called on Altria and Philip Morris to adopt steps to prevent the break-up of Philip Morris from worsening the global tobacco epidemic.  The company refused to agree to these demands.  This year, public health advocates are calling on governments to effectively quarantine Altria/Philip Morris, the world's largest multi-national tobacco company by passing legislation to stop the spread of the global tobacco pandemic.

Our concern is that the proposed break-up of Philip Morris poses the risk that Philip Morris International will become even more effective at spreading its toxic products and independent, Philip Morris International, which is likely to be based in Switzerland, will no longer feel constrained by public opinion or the possibility of domestic regulation or litigation in its home country and most important market, the United States.

The company says it supports comprehensive tobacco control legislation in the US and overseas, but its actions such as in Indonesia and elsewhere, make clear its true commitments.  And, you ask for evidence.  And if any of you -- if anybody wants to see evidence, go to

Earlier this year, [US] Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that PMI should be prohibited from using misleading terms like "light", "mild", and "low".  Did the new, "new" Philip Morris acknowledge how it used these terms to deceive smokers and agree to abide by the ruling?  No.   It is challenging the judge's order.  This company must be stopped from spreading its poison, especially in the developing world, where it hopes to expand its deadly business.

And, I don't really have a question, because I've been here long enough [to] these meetings to know that this company's actions after the meetings speak much louder than your words during it.  Thank you very much."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.  I think that I've addressed a lot of what you've said.  If you looked at what you've said, intellectually, it doesn't make any sense.  We've tried to have a dialogue with you.  Even Hurwitz, who is Head of Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris International, has written to you twice, has asked to meet with you.  And so far, you haven't really responded in terms of being able to meet.

I think, also, you should get your facts right before you start trying to alarm the world.  And I think your comment is a major insult to Switzerland.

So, Madame?"

AnneBerit Petersen, nurse:
"Good morning, sir.  My name is AnneBerit Petersen, and I grew up in Virginia, and am a nurse from Loma Linda University, California.  I'm here as -- with a group of nurses from across the country who are here because we see the suffering and pain caused by the normal use of the company's cigarettes.

I have personally cared for many smokers and former smokers dying from tobacco caused diseases who switched to these so-called "light" cigarettes thinking they would be less dangerous.  And, I know that it's a topic that keeps coming up, and I hope you can help me understand.  But, the -- as I understand it, the company's own documents showed that it knew that they were not less dangerous because smokers compensated by inhaling more deeply.

In last year's federal court decision finding the company guilty of fraud and racketeering, the court specifically enjoined the company from continuing to use descriptors like "light" and "natural" to describe its products, because customers -- consumers erroneously perceived that they may not be as deadly as regular cigarettes, which studies showed killed one out of two long-term users.

So, please help me understand why the company then asked to be able to continue to use these terms overseas while appealing the decision?  I've worked in many countries -- in Africa and Asia and China -- and continue to see the destruction in countries that don't have the medical infrastructure to take care of all of these people with the diseases that they're getting.  So, why would the company want to ... ?"

Louis Camilleri:

AnneBerit Petersen:
"Pardon?  ... Want to continue to use in other countries terms that a court in this country has found to be deceptive?  Was this request to keep using deceptive terms reviewed by this so-called social responsible committee?  And if so, what way does the committee find the continued use in developing countries of these fraudulent and deceptive terms to be socially responsible?"

Louis Camilleri:
"Again, you've got your facts wrong, OK?  Go and look at what we asked Judge Kessler, and you will see that what you're saying is not true.  OK?  That's not what we asked for.  So, thank you.  And by the way, she didn't clarify anything.  Thank you.  We have time for one more question."

Unidentified man, standing behind the next questioner, and shouting:
"How about getting someone in another area that's not just on the ...?"

David Trinnes:
"Excuse me, sir, I believe I'm up next."

Unidentified man continuing to try to be recognized and to push ahead to the microphone.

David Trinnes:
"Excuse me, sir.  I was asking a question here."

Unidentified man still pushing and shouting.

David Trinnes:
"I believe I have the microphone now, if you'd mind ignoring this fellow behind me.  Good morning, Mr. Camilleri.  My name is David Trinnes.  I am a senior from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  I'm proud to stand before you today as one of 100 youths from across the country.  I'm a well respected student leader here, representing the concerns of my peers and other members of the Ohio University community.

Our message for you is this, we do not want your recruitment in our school anymore, because we do not want our school affiliated with the tobacco industry.  I have heard a recruiter say, 'We want to help adults make responsible choices.'  However, there's nothing responsible about smoking.

And no matter how hard you try to spin it, there's nothing responsible about manufacturing a product that kills when used as directed.  It's terrible you make so much profit off the pain and suffering of smokers and even non-smokers.  Our community does not want to be a part of this.  I'm proud to say that Ohio went smoke-free this past November, and my school's county of Athens, overwhelmingly passed smoke-free Ohio with 61% of the vote.

Ohio University began to implement a stringent smoking policy and provide smoking cessation services on campus.  Our community is determined to create a smoke-free environment for our students, help smokers quit and prevent youth from ever starting in the first place.

Please don't take this opportunity to spew off your repetitive public relations lines.  We are tired of hearing your rhetoric about how you provide young adults with a great career opportunity.  Enough is enough.  The facts speak for themselves.  Each day, 4,000 try cigarettes fro the first time.  1,500 youths become daily smokers, and one third of them will die from tobacco related disease.

We won't stand by while [you] recruit young people [to] Altria's products.  It's already caused enough damage.  You don't even need to respond.  So, I'm just telling you, stay away from my school!"

Louis Camilleri:
"Madame, do you have a question?"

Leanna Hane, nurse:
"Yes, I do.  My name is Leanna Hane.  I'm one of the Nightingale Nurses, and I've taken care of lots of smokers dying in the hospital over my 22 years of nursing.  In fact, each year, more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking.  Moreover, one in every five deaths in the United States is smoking-related.  On average, adults who smoke cigarettes die 14 years earlier than non-smokers.

Based on current cigarette smoking patterns, an estimated 25 million Americans who are alive today will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses including five million people younger than the age of 18.  As a nurse, I have cared for so many people who have suffered from tobacco.  And I am here to bear witness to that suffering.

I cannot believe that anyone would want to cause suffering intentionally, even if they are being paid huge, if they are being paid huge sums of money.  Since you claim that the company is socially responsible, I want to ask whether you know of any other product on the market that addicts everyone who uses it regularly and kills 50% of those who use it by causing slow, agonizing, and premature death, like [that of] my father?"

Louis Camilleri:
"I honestly don't think that that question merits a response.  We keep on having these perpetual attacks.  And I'm not sure what it is you're trying to achieve.  Either you're going to try to join forces to try to advocate for regulation and try to join forces to reduce the harm.  Or, you can come in here, once a year, and try to make noise.  But, that doesn't move the needle, frankly.  I'm sorry.  It doesn't.

Sir, you had a question?"

Barry Dean, shareholder:
"Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Directors.  My promise is my question's totally different.  First of all, we're new stockholders.  My name is Barry Dean from Randolph, New Jersey.  My wife and I recently purchased stock.  We are satisfied.  We are hopeful this company continues to follow and grow in the future.

However, we have -- the reason I waited in this line -- I have one major concern. ..."

[He had been one of those pushing to the microphone, and making remarks off the microphone.  His question related to the running of Kraft.]

Louis Camilleri commented to the questions of Mr. Dean, more than one, and ended by saying,
"So, thank you.  Thank you, very much.

That concludes our question and comment period. ...
The first order of business is the election of eleven Directors. ...
If you would like to comment on the nominations, please proceed to a microphone.  Again, each speaker is asked to limit his or her comments to two minutes.  Please identify yourself before you begin.  The meeting is now open for comments on the nominations.


The Rev.
Michael Crosby:
"Yes, Mr. Camilleri.  My name is Michael Crosby.  I'm a Capuchin Franciscan from Milwaukee.  And being a member of a religious order, our bottom line is morality.  And, I think it would be very good when you have your discussions back and forth to realize that the reason why people like us who have our shares in a restricted fund so that any money coming in is going to be able to challenge the bottom line, because the bottom line of this company affects morality.

You are legal, but not everything that is legal is moral.  Every one of the Board of Directors, every one of the shareholders, is making money on an immoral product, which if used as intended will kill, because it addicts.  I think that as we separate this company and celebrate -- as you say, "celebrate,"  "it's an exciting time," --  it can't be an exciting time if you have moral convictions.

This company is doing well within an immoral industry.  It is operating legally, but it is immoral in terms of all of our faith traditions.  If you any of you go to mosque on Friday, synagogue on Saturday, or church on Sunday, you know that your religion does not endorse tobacco use and smoking.  We can say what we want about it, but we're having a product that kills.

And every one of us has it on our conscience.  And every one will be judged ultimately by our God as to what -- how we're making profits.  And so, as we create this new company free of Kraft, I think it's important for us to begin by realizing exactly what we're doing, legally yes.  Within a legal system, the company is trying to do the best with a bad product.  But, the bad product is killing, and we need to always remember that.

And I ask for the members of the Board and the shareholders to realize that, and to realize why people are here, and why we'll always have a different bottom line."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you, Father."

Peter Rodido:
"Good morning, sir.

Louis Camilleri:
"Good morning."

Peter Rodido:
"My name is Peter Rodido.  I have two very quick questions.  First of all, regarding the Board of Directors, why is it that we have someone on the Board who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations?  That's question number one.  And the second question is to you.  Why have you allowed the lunatic fringe to hi-jack this meeting?"

Louis Camilleri:
"Yes.  Well, I think one of the biggest strengths of this company is the Board of Directors.  The Board has guided this company for many, many years, and is one of the key reasons for its success.  And I think you should be proud of the Board and its members and the collective wisdom that they bring to the company.

With regard to the hi-jacking of this meeting, regretfully in this day and age, a lot of people can buy one share and come and monopolize a meeting, or even not even buy one share.  The fact is that we have a duty to listen to everybody, including our most vehement critics.  And we will continue to do that.

And it's regretful that sometimes they monopolize these meetings.  But, that has been somewhat regretfully the tradition.  And it's not a question of coming up with rules to change who can come and who can't come, regretfully.  Thank you."

[The next business was the resolutions. 
The full printed text of the resolutions and the opposing statement of Altria is given later in this web page.
The first health resolution was moved by the Rev. Michael Crosby.]

Louis Camilleri:
" ... Is the proponent of the second shareholder proposal present?  Again, please identify yourself.  Father?"

Rev. Michael Crosby:

Full text for and company statement against Informing Children of their rights if forced to incur secondhand smoke]
"Thanks, Mr. Camilleri.  Last year, I was at a meeting, and I read an article in Children's Legal Rights Journal.  And it was, how do children who have to put up with their parents smoking in their presence, especially in closed situations, cars, or houses, have redress.

I'm pleased that the company has stated that adults should not smoke in the presence of children and also in their home and in their cars.  However, the more and more we look at the reality of the product that we're talking about, as one of the speakers said before, you've got a product that ultimately, if used over a period of time, becomes addictive.

Well, when you deal with addicts,  you don't have real freedom going on in terms of all their choices and informed choices, because they know they're doing something that's killing them, but they keep doing it because they're addicted.  So, therefore, they're going to compromise if they're adults, and there are children who then have to ingest that side-stream smoke.

So, the article pointed out in -- if you look at our fourth paragraph -- that children should have a legal right to be able to get redress.  And the only way that would be, would be some kind of suing of the adults.  When I read that, I said, 'I don't know if that'll stop adults from smoking when they're pregnant or in the house or in the car, but at least it's something that could be done concretely.'

This gets to the point of our concern here with the company, it is that when you come up with something really concrete, the company's against it.  It says it's really concerned.  But then, when you come up with a way of concretely implementing it, you [the company] don't support it.  And so, we think this is a no-brainer resolution, and that it would get support.

So, I submit this resolution, and ask the shareholders to support this redress that innocent children, innocent people must have when adults around them are not acting responsibly."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you, Father.


Leanna Hane, nurse:
"My name is Leanna Hane.  I'm a nurse.  In your rebuttal against Proposal 2, ... you state, 'We do not believe it would be appropriate for the company to communicate to children information or suggestions about legal options regarding this issue.'

I'm wondering why you believe this inappropriate since, as a child continuously exposed to secondhand smoke in cars and at my house, I would have welcomed this information.  Being constantly exposed to secondhand smoke exacerbated my asthma, was a factor in my getting severe pneumonia at the age of five, and may be likely to cause me further health sequelae later on.

So, why wouldn't you want to be helpful to children who currently have no choice in their exposure to secondhand smoke?  Why would information or suggestions regarding legal options be inappropriate?"

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you."

Kelly Bittnerschmidt, nurse:
"Good morning.  My name is Kelly Bittnerschmidt.  I'm a nurse from North Dakota.  I'm here to bear witness on behalf of the children who are affected by tobacco use.  I am going to tell you some words from my friend, another nurse in North Dakota.

She states, 'My father, Golen Weisenberger, was in World War II based in Okinawa.  He began smoking before the war, and he certainly was helped along in his smoking by easy access to cigarettes during the war.  When he came [home] in 1946, he continued to smoke, and did so until he was about 68.

During that time, I and my two siblings were born.  Each one of us shows the effects of his smoking on our lungs.  All of us have problems with bronchitis and easily contracted pneumonia.  My brother easily gets bronchitis each winter.  I've had many bad bouts with pneumonia and frequently have been asked if I smoked.  I have never smoked, not even one cigarette.  Neither did my siblings.

We hated the stink of my dad's cigarettes, hated the mess, hated the arguments my mom and he had over his smoking.  She was a nurse, and knew that it was bad for him.  I was very glad when he quit.  But tragically, he did not quit before it affected the entire family.  My mother has also had bouts with pneumonia.

My father always insisted on smoking everywhere he went, in the bathroom, in the living room, at the table, and in the car.  So when I am asked about smoker's rights, I get a little testy.  My father used his rights to smoke all around us.  He died ten years earlier than he would have had to due to smoking.  He died of a stroke.  We, his adult children are now the ones who continue to suffer from the effects of the exposure to smoke.'

Mr. Camilleri, tell me, what choice did these children of others have when they are exposed [to smoke] in their home?"

Louis Camilleri:
"Are there any other comments?  Madame?"

AnneBerit Petersen, nurse:
"Yes, sir.  I do want to respond to the gentleman earlier about the lunatics.  I do appreciate the opportunity to come and give voice to children that I take care of who come in for repeated admissions for asthma.  Their parents come to visit, and they're reeking of smoke.  I can give all the education I can come up with to encourage these parents to consider what the exposure is doing for their children who have asthma.

And it is so frustrating to be in the trenches and not be able to have voice.  So, I thank you that you have this open opportunity, because it at least gives me some peace that somebody is -- maybe will listen.

The suffering -- these continued admissions, repeated admissions that keep them from school or keep them from being able to play sports, other activities, have a normal childhood, and I just am gratified that I can give voice to some of these victims, because they do not have any recourse."

Louis Camilleri:

Sharon Brown:
"I'd like to give my support to this resolution, and I'd like to share a personal experience in relationship to being exposed to secondhand smoke.  The example is myself as an eight year old child.

By that time, after being exposed to household exposures [of smoke], car exposures, multiple exposures by my father primarily, I had missed almost one half of the school year [due to] secondary chronic bronchitis, asthma, and repeated hospitalizations that kept me out of the classroom.  Today, I never would have been able to go on without repeating a number of years [grades].

I'm also remembering the smoke circle, the nicotine that was ingrained in the ceiling when I closed down my father's house after he died.  There was a nasty brown color that would not cover up with paint, a lasting memory of the smoking exposures, and what my father had gone through.

And I end with another example of an eight year old child and what she had gone through.  That was of my daughter, standing over the casket of my father and refusing to leave her beloved Poppy's graveside."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.  I think we have one last comment."

Stephen Ross:
Hello.  My name is Stephen Ross.  Today, I'm representing Dover Youth to Youth.  But more importantly, I am representing all of the kids across America and across the world who breathe in poisoned air every day because their parents smoke, and they can't do anything about it.

The second proposal on your agenda regards secondhand smoke and preventative steps that can be taken by Philip Morris to protect kids who are harmed by it.  The Surgeon General has said that it is indisputable that secondhand smoke is harmful to people's health.

Kids are most endangered by secondhand smoke.  And if their parents smoke, they are being forced to breathe in the poisoned air that can make them sick, and eventually might take their lives.  The proposal would make Philip Morris provide information for kids about the dangers of secondhand smoke and legal action they can take to protect themselves against secondhand smoke if they are being exposed to it against their will.

The company would utilize all of their media outlets they use to advertise their products to inform kids about their products' dangers.  The Committee has suggested that stockholders vote against this, based on the belief that it is the public health officials' responsibility to inform people about this.

I strongly disagree with this thinking.  The public health officials aren't making an obviously deadly product.  You are.  It is your moral responsibility to inform the public that being around people who use your cigarettes is is dangerous for not only the smokers, but those around them when they smoke.

And I repeat, kids can't always choose whether or not they are around adults who are smoking.  The responsible thing to do would be to tell kids that they are being exposed to deadly chemicals in the air they breathe, chemicals that can cause asthma on the short term and lung cancer on the long term.

Or, you can vote against this proposal.  You can vote against this proposal and allow kids to get sick for no reason while you make a profit off of it.  So personally, I don't think it's right to get rich off of other people's misery.

In closing, I ask you to please vote for this proposal.  Please think of those who can't protect themselves.  I would also like to give you a warning.  If you vote against this proposal, we won't go away.  We are the kids who have realized that you aim your deadly product at us to make money, who are getting sick because of someone else's choice to smoke, who are standing up and making a difference.

And we won't go away.  We will come back year after year after year until you are willing to put lives ahead of your bank accounts."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.  It's ironic that you don't think public health has a role in this.  It's quite ironic. 

We will now move on to the next proposal.  Is the proponent of the third shareholder proposal present?  Again, please identify yourself."

Anne Morrow Donley:
[ Full text for and company statement against stopping all company sponsored campaigns allegedly oriented to prevent youth from smoking]
"I'm Anne Morrow Donley speaking on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Louis, Missouri, and I move the adoption of this proposal.

On the one hand, we've heard you speak several times this morning about laundry lists and litanies and so forth in a disparaging way.  One might note that Altria has been giving a litany over the years of how you do not want youth to smoke.  You do not want youth, I assume, to use your smokeless tobacco products either, though I haven't heard that yet.

But anyway, you say this, and you have ad campaigns, which you say are to stop them using tobacco products.  But Philip Morris/Altria has admitted that their ad campaigns may be having a bad effect on children.  That's in your proposal, your answer.  You said that.

However, over the years, the proponents have been coming and asking that you have test marketing as you do of your products, test marketing of your ad campaigns by independent researchers to see whether it will have a bad effect on kids or not.

And we would note that in December of this past year, the American Journal of Public Health did publish a study that had been done of 100,000 of your ads from over a period of years, and discovered amazingly enough, that eighth-graders, for example, were inspired to smoke because of your ads.

Your ads did not approach youth, but approached the parents and asked them to talk to kids about their tobacco use.  The only research data you have provided has been to say, 'Did the parents see the ads or not?  And, did the parents talk with the kids or not?'  And you have no other data, no track record whatsoever.

1.  There's a constant refusal on the part of Philip Morris/Altria to have independent research on these ads or test marketing, if you will, before the release to make sure it doesn't impact kids negatively. 
2.  There is no track record that you have in regard to youth smoking. 
3.  The data shows the ads are encouraging youth to use tobacco products.  And,
4.  Philip Morris/Altria wants the researchers of the December Journal article to turn over the raw data to Philip Morris.  And one has to wonder why.  That should send a chill through the entire scientific community that you don't provide information, but you want the basic names and addresses of everyone they talked to, etc.

So, it's past time for us to realize your moral commitment, if you have one, to trying to keep youth from using tobacco products and to do the test marketing beforehand to make sure that the ads are not having a negative impact on kids.  And if you're not going to do that, and if you're not going to actually provide data and have a track record, you need to stop those ads, and turn the money over to groups which do have a track record.

I hope everyone will support this resolution.  Thank you."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you, Madame.


Michael Crosby: 
"Mr. Camilleri, I had a conversation with Mr. Holsenbeck and others at Altria about this.  And it became clear that I was confused as we began our investigation of this, thinking that the campaign that parents should tell their kids not to smoke, once they get kids not to smoke.

The campaign, if you look at the company's response in the fourth paragraph, the campaign was successful in reaching its intended audience.  That was parents.  It was successful in having parents tell their kids not to smoke, according to the company, although no independent research showed that.

But you see, the problem with me was that I thought that the campaign was to get kids not to smoke.  The campaign was to have parents talk to their kids about not smoking.  And that worked.  But, you know when parents told you when you were a kid not to do something what you did.  I smoked when I was a kid.  My parents didn't want me to.

And so, the point is, the campaign is in that way, to that degree, disingenuous, because you think it's to get kids to stop smoking.  But, it really is to get parents to talk to their kids about not smoking.  And on top of it all, none of this is being submitted to independent testing, and that's what we've been asking all these years."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.


Donna Tassos, nurse:
"I'm Donna Tassos, and I'm a Nightingale's Nurse.  This company has developed a so-called youth non-smoking program that part of the messages include parents talking to kids and emphasizing that smoking is something for adults.

But, anyone who knows anything about normal human growth and development, in fact, any one of you all who have ever raised a child, knows that what adolescents most want is to be adults, and to make adult choices.  Your studies show your messages are getting to parents, but you have not provided evidence that these messages are actually effective in keeping kids from smoking.  I urge support of this proposal."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you."

Merritt McLaughlin, Student:
"Hi.  My name is Merritt McLaughlin.  I'm an eighth grader at Dover Middle School in Dover, New Hampshire, and I'm in favor of Proposal 3.  90% of all adult smokers became addicted to tobacco while in their teens.  Your older smokers are dying from tobacco related diseases.  So, in order to keep making a profit, you need to replace them with new, younger smokers.

So, if you're relying on younger customers to keep your business, then it's not in your business interests to prevent teens from smoking.  If you want to do an effective job, then you shouldn't do it at all.  So, why won't you let your prevention campaigns be independently tested?  Why have I never seen any data that proves the effectiveness of the ads?

The American Journal of Public Health found eighth graders more likely to smoke after seeing your prevention efforts targeting parents about talking to their kids.  The eighth graders were more likely to believe that the effects of smoking were being exaggerated.  Your company did not challenge this article, making me believe that the evidence you have is not strong enough to prove this wrong, and that you're afraid to show this evidence because you know that it's not sufficient.

As an eighth grader, your prevention efforts that I have looked at are full of text, and they have some pictures, but they're not cutting edge.  They're not the same quality as if an organization dedicated to prevention were making prevention materials.  Your prevention efforts and materials are very wordy and bland.

On the other hand, when you advertise tobacco, your ads are eye-catching and more appealing to my friends and I.  And I find it hypocritical that a tobacco company is making prevention materials.  And that leads me to believe that this is a half-hearted attempt.  So, since it is just a half-hearted attempt, you should leave it to the real prevention groups to handle.  This is why I support Proposal 3.  Thank you."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you."

Nicole Sutton, Nurse:
"Mr. Camilleri, my name is Nicole Sutton.  And I've come all the way from Hawaii today to be here.  I work for the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii.  And I have in my hand, a letter that was written to us on November 29th, 2006, asking that we partner with Philip Morris Youth Smoking  Prevention Program to provide data about underage cigarette sales in Hawaii.

And it says that more than 17 or so states are complying in providing this detailed information on what stores are selling to minors, because Philip Morris wants to be able to work with the retailers to educate them.

However, I think it is absolutely unethical for a tobacco company to have access to this detailed data when there is absolutely no guarantee that this info and data will actually be used for youth prevention efforts and not for the benefit of the company's marketing development and product sales that may be targeted at young people.

So, it's my feeling that a tobacco company cannot necessarily be trusted to do -- to have access to this data, and that we really do need to have prevention in the hands of public health professionals.  Thank you for this opportunity to speak."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you."

Peter Rodido:
"Good morning again, sir.  Again, my name is Peter Rodido, and I'm a little bit befuddled by the format of this meeting.  I own shares in a lot of companies, and I've been to a lot of annual meetings in the past.  And never before have I been to an annual meeting where the Chairman allowed the proposals to be debated.

The proxy statements that we received provided more than adequate print material on both sides of the question.  And anybody who was conscientious enough to read that material and make an intelligent vote doesn't have to sit here and listen to a debate.  And I don't mean to criticize you personally, but this is another example of you letting the lunatic fringe taking over this meeting.

Now, one suggestion I would make is that when people come up and speak at the microphone, they not only introduce themselves, but they tell us how many shares they hold in this company.  Because if somebody holds 5,000 shares, well, their opinion holds a little bit more weight than somebody who holds five shares.  And this is a way of discouraging the lunatic fringe."
[Web Editor's note:  Mr. Rodido did not divulge how many shares he and his wife own.]

Louis Camilleri:
"We live in a democracy.  And one share is one vote."

David Trinnes:
"First off, I disagree very much with the gentleman over there.  I feel it is important for us to be able to debate ... "

Louis Camilleri, interrupting:
"Could you get to the comment, please?"

David Trinnes:
"OK.  I just want to say, thank you once again for having me up here, Mr. Camilleri.  Altria telling you not to smoke is the ultimate hypocrisy.  You like facts, Mr. Camilleri, so let's go straight to the facts from this.

In 2003, in the FTC report, the tobacco industry spent $15 billion on marketing and promotion in the US in contrast with that same year, tobacco companies spent $72.9 million that was directed to youth or their parents that are intended to reduce youth smoking.

If we were to believe that you were committed to reducing youth smoking while you spent only a fraction of your youth prevention, we have heard your rhetoric about a supposed concern for community and your alleged desire to prevent youth smoking.  However, these company sponsored campaigns seem to be intentionally designed to be ineffective.

In essence, your programs seem to be poorly veiled attempts at marketing your deadly products to youth and young adults.  After all, why would you want to persuade consumers not to use your products?

Let's go with some more facts, Mr. Camilleri.  The Honorable Gladys Kessler -- you know that case very well, don't you?  In her ruling, she said the defendants lied, misrepresented, and deceived the American public including smokers, and the young people they thought of apparently as replacement smokers about the devastating health effects of smoking, and environmental tobacco smoke.

The suppressed research, destroyed documents, and manipulated use of nicotine so as to increase the perpetual addiction.  You were found in a court of law to have conspired to deceive the public, and yet you expect us to believe you honestly want to reduce youth smoking.  Your so called youth prevention campaign is just another way for you to promote your product to youth under the guise of prevention.

Obviously, you will use any chance you can to get your name onto the youth.  Now, since Philip Morris launched its first television campaign to persuade youths not to smoke, shareholder resolutions have requested the ad campaign be submitted to independent testing.  And you released your own research about the ad.  You have refused, saying the ads are effective without showing the evidence to justify your claim.

If your ads are effective, why are you hiding the stats?  You claim to be a responsible company, so do the responsible thing.  Stay away from youth altogether.  Leave the youth smoking prevention campaigns to groups like the American Legacy Foundation, who actually care about preventing youth from smoking."

Louis Camilleri: 

David Trinnes:
"And are able to use ads that actually work.  Respect the Master Settlement Agreement.  Stop targeting, selling, and promoting to youth altogether."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.  I said I wouldn't comment.  But, if you look at the one side, you will find that we commissioned a study called the teenage behavior study -- attitudes and behavior study.  You can see that over the last eight years, children of the age of 11 to 17, their smoking incidence has decreased by 56%.  And 11 to 14 year olds has decreased by 65%.

Now, I think we have a lot more to do, but there has been significant progress.  And this is not about who's getting credit for what.  This is about trying to ensure that youth will not smoke.  And everybody has a role to play.  And I don't think anybody can try to get the monopoly of what they're trying to achieve.

As regards our own programs, as we have said, they are guided by an eminent advisory board that is composed of eminent, well respected, world wide recognized experts in child behavior, youth development and their education.  So, please try to understand what the facts are before you let emotions take over.  Thank you.

We will now move on to the next proposal.  Is the proponent of the fourth shareholder proposal present.  Again, please identify yourself."

Edward Sweda, shareholder:
Full text for and company statement against the resolution to Get out of traditional tobacco business by 2010]
"Good morning, Mr. Camilleri.  I am Edward Sweda, a shareholder from Massachusetts.  I'm speaking on behalf of Proposal 4, which was submitted by the Sinsinawa Dominicans.  For this resolution, it's important to view it in the context of this company's history, the history that you said earlier this morning, you are proud of.

In 1954, Philip Morris signed onto the Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers in which this company publicly and solemnly pledged that, 'We accept an interest in people's health as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business.'  Philip Morris has never disavowed this pledge.

More recently, Geoffrey Bible, the former CEO of this company, testified under oath in 1998 that he would not, 'Set money over public health."  Philip Morris has never disavowed that statement.  Now, while Philip Morris has in recent years claimed that it is now a socially responsible company, a comprehensive and scholarly opinion from US District Court Judge Gladys Kessler has found otherwise. [Further information, at http://www.tobacco.neu.edu]

And let me note that she, of course, is not an anti-tobacco advocate.  she's a federal judge who presided over a lengthy trial with hundreds of witnesses, and the company, of course, and all the tobacco companies represented by very talented attorneys.  In her ruling last August, she determined that the tobacco company defendants violated the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.

Therefore, the tobacco company defendants, including Philip Morris, are now adjudicated racketeers.  Significantly, Judge Kessler found that the company defendants, including Philip Morris, have not transformed themselves since the Master Settlement Agreement was signed in 1998.  She ruled that their assertion that they have transformed themselves is, 'Simply not accurate.'

Moreover, she found that tobacco company lawyers at every stage played an absolutely central role in the creation and perpetuation of the racketeering enterprise and the implementation of its fraudulent schemes.  And she commented in her opinion, 'What a sad and disquieting chapter in the history of an honorable and often courageous profession.'

The racketeering enterprise consisted of defrauding the American public regarding seven items:
1.  smoking's adverse health consequences;
2.  nicotine's addictive properties;
3.  nicotine manipulation;
4.  "light" and "low tar" cigarettes;
5.  marketing to youth;
6.  secondhand smoke; and
7.  the suppression of research along with document destruction.

And, I would note parenthetically, that you commented earlier about the improving litigation environment.  Well, the company did not have a very good day yesterday [April 25, 2007], as I was in Washington, D.C. to see the US Supreme Court oral argument in the Watson vs. Philip Morris case.

And while we await the decision in a couple of months on the defense using the Federal Officer Removal Statute to get out of state court, tobacco friendly stock analyst David Adelman is predicting that Philip Morris will lose that decision, and that it may even be a unanimous decision against Philip Morris' position.  [June 11, 2007, US Supreme Court indeed ruled unanimously against Philip Morris, returning the Lights case to state court.]

So, in closing, it's because of Philip Morris' long, sordid history of wrongdoing, apparently again, the one that you are proud of, and its refusal to become socially responsible, despite its words to the contrary, the shareholders sponsoring this resolution have no choice but to submit Proposal Number 4.

And because this company has engaged and continues to engage in a long standing racketeering scheme, I urge the shareholders to approve this resolution.  Thank you."

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.


Ruth Malone:
"Ruth Malone, and for the benefit of the gentleman here, I should disclose that I do own one share.  Even if I wished to own many more shares, as a nurse, I will never make in my lifetime what Mr. Camilleri makes in one year.   So, I could never be a major shareholder in this company.  But, I do feel that it is important to be here on behalf of others who have a stake in this company and cannot share their voices.

And I know that it cannot be pleasant for all of you on the Board of Directors and all of you who are the executives of the company and all of you who are major shareholders to go through these meetings and to know that your products are responsible for the suffering and deaths of millions of people.

No matter how much money is being made, there will come a time when the world will see what is being done here, and will wonder how this corporate slaughter was tolerated for so long.  Peanut butter caused the illnesses of some 300 people a few months ago, you may remember.  And the company did the responsible thing.  It pulled those products from the shelf.

This company does not believe it should act like other responsible companies, and I believe that that is testimony to an ethical blind spot of colossal proportions.  This is a blindness for which millions will pay the price and have paid the price.  Other models for distribution of tobacco products to addicted users have been proposed.

This company should pursue seriously avenues to get out of the business and transition from an industry that promotes suffering to an industry that reduces it.  That would truly be 'moving the needle forward.' "

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you.


Carol McGruder:
"Good morning, Chairman Camilleri and Altria shareholders.  My name is Carol McGruder, and I'm from California.  And I'm in support of this proposal.

I am here to bear witness for the 45,000 African-American lives lost every year to tobacco related illness.  And I am here to be a voice for people of African descent the world over.

In November of last year, Philip Morris/Altria and other tobacco companies pumped over $70 million to defeat California's Proposition 86.  Proposition 86 would have added an additional $2.65 tax to each pack of cigarettes sold in the state of California.  This proposition was endorsed by the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society.

While Philip Morris used many strategies to defeat this proposition, a proposition which would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in California, the strategies that our community found particularly reprehensible and disingenuous were the co-application of our leadership organizations, particularly the California State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Youth of the Regressive Tax argument.

This regressive tax argument pretends to be a friend of poor and low-income smokers, arguing that excise taxes are an unfair burden that will cause them to spend a relatively higher proportion of their income on cigarettes than people who are more affluent.  I submit to you that cigarettes are not a necessity like food or lodging or transportation, but they are highly addictive and deadly substances.

And yes, low-income smokers are sensitive to price, which research has proven that when the cost of cigarettes goes up, smoking prevalence goes down, more so for poor and low-income smokers.  If you want to help low-income African-American smokers, please stop marketing your deadly products to them.  If you want to help communities of color, stop co-opting our leadership organizations and creating divisions in our communities.

And we are also morally opposed to the construction of the Philip Morris plant currently underway in Senegal, West Africa.  We know that the lure of industry and jobs to developing countries is a powerful Trojan horse --"

Louis Camilleri:

Carol McGruder:
"And we know from bitter experience that we'll never be able to compensate for their man-made plague of death and illness that will surely follow.  It is criminal that as many African countries --"

Louis Camilleri:

Carol McGruder:
"-- deal with the elements of poverty, AIDS, political instability and war, refugees.  You will be there to profit and work with little disruption.  We lend our voice to the struggle of our brothers and sisters in Africa as they work to protect their youth from your aggressive marketing strategies.

And we know that American parents don't want their children to smoke.  We would say to you that the lives of African youth have the same intrinsic value as those of our children.  Stop outsourcing death.  Thank you."

Louis Camilleri:

Unidentified Audience Member:
"I'm ---"

Louis Camilleri:
"I'm going to have to cut the comments pretty soon, because in the interest of time, I think we're just hearing recitation of everything.  So, I think we're going to have to move on to the next proposal.  Is the proponent of the fifth and final shareholder proposal present? ..."

[Shareholder proposal from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.]

Louis Camilleri:
"Thank you, very much.  I think it's important for all shareholders to know two things.  One is that we've never used Covance for animal testing.  So, that's the first point.  The second point is that PETA's a great example of a willingness to dialog to try to advance the needle.  So, I thank you for talking to us.

The matters to be voted on have now been formally presented to the meeting.  If you've not already done so, please complete your proxy card.  After you've done so, raise your hand, and the ushers will collect all the proxy cards and deliver them to the Inspectors of Election.

Since all shareholders have now had time to vote, I declare the polls closed.  The ushers should now have collected all the proxies, and they are directed to deliver the proxies to the Inspectors of Elections for counting.

I'm exceedingly proud to lead the Altria family of companies.  Altria not only provides value for its shareholders, it adds value to the communities in which we operate.  Ours is a philanthropic commitment that dates back over half a century.  Last year alone, Altria companies donated some $200 million to deserving organizations around the world.

We have helped provide nutritious meals so that fewer people go hungry.  We have helped make shelter and legal services available for survivors of domestic violence and their families.  We have helped --"

David Trinnes:
"Attention, ladies and gentlemen.  This company has refused to stop spreading poison around the world!  Millions are dying every year!  We must take action to quarantine this toxic pandemic!"

[20 young people around the auditorium rise up, fitting on plastic chemical hazard suits, fitting on medical face masks, holding up signs, banners, stringing out yellow caution tape.]

Louis Camilleri:
"Can you sit down please?"

[Shouts of Stop the toxic global pandemic!]

Louis Camilleri:
"Out of courtesy for all shareholders, can you sit down, please?

We have helped to exalt the human spirit with art sponsorships that nurture innovation, creative excellence and diversity.  And when natural disasters have struck --
Out of courtesy for all shareholders here, you've done your piece!  Can you please sit down?  I'm asking you to sit down!  All of you, please?  If you want to do your things, you can go behind [the audience].  You're spoiling the view for other shareholders.  Show some courtesy!"

[Guards made the young people move to the back of the auditorium.
Media coverage of the protests is below.]

"We have supported organizations that help victims pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.  Our corporate philanthropy mirrors the individual giving of our employees.  In 2006, not-for-profit organizations received a total of almost $7 million through matching gifts and employee funds.

From Richmond, Virginia to Japan, they helped clean and beautify their communities.  They mentored children in their native Chinese culture on Long Island.  From Surabaya, Indonesia to Brooklyn, New York they provided emergency services that not only touched lives, but actually helped save them.  And this is only a sampling of their efforts.

I'm extremely proud of the extraordinary difference our employees make in their communities.  And I'm equally proud of the difference they make to your company.  A great company is defined by many things, but at the heart of those things are the great people who work for the company. ..."

[There followed the summary of voting results, and the adjournment of the meeting.

    The results of the 2007 voting, percentage in favor:
    Informing children of their rights if forced to incur secondhand smoke
          3.7% in favor
    Stop all company sponsored campaigns allegedly oriented to prevent youth from smoking
          3.3% in favor
    Get out of traditional tobacco business by 2010
          1.1% in favor

Shareholders had to file past the demonstrating students to reach the outside.

And outside the buildings down on the sloping lawns beside the highway, more students were demonstrating, with huge signs, outfits of cigarettes, and enthusiasm.  Photos at http://www.takingontobacco.org/event/altria07 .]

Proposal 1 is about Cumulative Voting.  Proposal 5 is about the use of animals in tobacco industry research.  Proposals 2, 3, and 4 are health resolutions, and the full text of the proposal, and of the company opposition statement is given below.

Proposal 2 -- Informing Children of Their Rights if Forced to Incur Secondhand Smoke

Province of Saint Joseph of the Capuchin Order ... WI, claiming beneficial ownership of 300 shares of common stock, together with four co-proponents, submitted the proposal set forth below. ...

WHEREAS, in August, 2006 a federal judge ruled that PM USA and other tobacco companies violated racketeering laws by deceiving the public about the dangers of tobacco, including the fact that "defendants continue to obscure the fact that ETS is hazardous to Nonsmokers;"

PM USA has continued its equivocation on the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS) since the May, 2006 Report of the Surgeon General stating it is now "indisputable" SHS is an "alarming" public health hazard, responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths among nonsmokers annually (www.surgeongeneral.vov/library/secondhandsmoke/).

In releasing the findings, Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona stated:  "Children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke."  He urged smoking parents not only to quit, but to smoke outside while trying to quit.  "Make the home a smoke-free environment," he stated (NYT, 02.28.06).

Despite PM USA's response to the 2006 Report -- that "people could choose whether to be around smokers" (TobaccoReporter 07.06, p.8), by smoking, a parent/guardian "transforms his or her child into an involuntary smoker" (Children's Legal Rights Journal 25.4 [2005], 37).  Such unwilling SHS exposure can be considered "a form of child abuse that is highly detrimental to health, general welfare, and safety.  Every member of society must share the responsibility of protecting our children from SHS" (25).

In Johnita M.D. v. David D.D., a New York family court provided relief to a thirteen-year-old child who demanded the court prohibit his mother from smoking in his presence.  The court took judicial notice of the scientific evidence regarding SHS, and banned the parents from smoking or allowing others to smoke at any time in their home or automobile (Johnita M.D., 40 N.Y.S.2d at 812, 812-13).

In re. Julie Anne, an Ohio court contained forty statements addressing linkages between SHS and disease.  It concluded:  "children comprise the most abused segment of society in the world" (24).  The court, on its own initiative, issued a restraining order against the smoking parents whose healthy child asserted entitlement to breathe clean air, free of SHS (25, 27).

The court found that a "family court on its own initiative and regardless of the health of the child ... in determining issues of visitation and custody" (641).  The court declared the "involuntary nature of children's exposure to secondhand smoke crystallizes the harm as egregious" (647-51).

Many times, it has been shown, legal redress is the only recourse in response to some particularly egregious behavior.  Contrary to PM USA's assertion, many children have no choice "whether to be around smokers."  While it may seem extreme for a child to sue his/her parents for smoking, any "right" parents have vis-a-vis smoking is over-ridden by a child's right to health.

RESOLVED:  the shareholders request that Altria and its tobacco entities make available on their websites and in all venues where they sell or promote their cigarettes, their own clear statements as well as material detailing the health hazards of SHS, including legal options available to minors to ensure their environments will be smokefree.

[The Response from Philip Morris, Altria, on Proposal 2 is below.]

The Board recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal.

Philip Morris USA, Inc. ("PM USA") and Philip Morris International Inc. ("PMI") believe that the public should be guided by the conclusions of public health officials regarding the health effects of secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke ("ETS"), in deciding whether to be in places where ETS is present, or if they are smokers, when and where to smoke around others.   PM USA and PMI both communicate on their websites the public health authorities' conclusions that ETS causes diseases in non-smokers.

In particular, the websites of PM USA and PMI each state:

Public health officials have concluded that secondhand smoke from cigarettes causes disease, including lung cancer and heart disease, in non-smoking adults, as well as causes conditions in children such as asthma, respiratory infections, cough, wheeze, otitis media (middle ear infection) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  The companies' websites communicate the dangers to children of ETS exposure and emphasize that "[p]articular care should be exercised where children are concerned, and adults should avoid smoking around them."

The websites also provide direct links to studies regarding ETS by the U.S. Surgeon General (including the 2006  Report of the Surgeon General, entitled "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke"), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and other public health authorities, all of which conclude that ETS exposure poses health risks to non-smokers.  More information on ETS can be found at PM USA's website at www. pmusa. com and PMI's website at www. pmintl. com.  In addition, on each cigarette package PM USA provides a toll-free number and website address where health information can be obtained.  PMI provides information on the health effects of secondhand smoke to its consumers through various media, including in package onserts.

Further, both companies have stated on their websites that "the conclusions of public health authorities on secondhand smoke warrant public health measures that regulate smoking in public places" and that "outright bans are appropriate in many places, such as schools."  Also both companies have stated that where smoking is permitted in public places, "the government should require the posting of warning notices that communicate public health officials' conclusions that secondhand smoke causes disease in non-smokers."

PM USA supports a legislative framework in the U.S. that would establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for tobacco products that includes authorizing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to revise the text of existing warning labels on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements to include warnings about the health effects of ETS.  PMI supports and advocates strong and effective comprehensive regulation of tobacco products around the world and has communicated this view to regulators and public health authorities, including the World Health Organization and the European Union.  Internationally, many countries, such as those in the European Union, require warning labels that include messages on ETS.

In short, PM USA and PMI both communicate on their websites and elsewhere the public health community's messages regarding ETS.  However, we do not believe it would be appropriate for the Company, PM USA, or PMI to communicate to children information or suggestions about "legal options" regarding this issue.

Therefore, the Board urges stockholders to vote AGAINST this proposal, and proxies received by the Company will be so voted unless stockholders specify a contrary choice in their proxies.

Proposal 3 -- Stop All Company-Sponsored "Campaigns" Allegedly Oriented to Prevent Youth From Smoking

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas ... St. Louis, MO ... claiming beneficial ownership of 100 shares of common stock, submitted the proposal set forth below.

WHEREAS, shareholder resolutions filed for voting at this Company's annual meetings in 1999, 2000 and 2001 asked that "before any promotional, marketing, and/or advertising campaign presently running is allowed to continue or is inaugurated in the future, it must be submitted to independent and certifiable testing to ensure that it is not equally or more appealing to the 14-to-18-age group than groups over 18."  The Board and Management urged shareholder to vote against this, arguing that it did not market to youth.

In December, 1998, Philip Morris USA launched a national $100 million television campaign allegedly meant to persuade youth not to smoke.  In one form or another, it has continued this campaign ever since.  During this time representatives of the proponents of this resolution repeatedly asked the Company to submit its ad campaign to independent testing to see how youth are being impacted to (not) smoke our products.  The Company's representatives refused, arguing its data shows the ads are "effective."  Furthermore it has refused to release any data that might support its claims.

Meanwhile, a comprehensive study of 100,000 such ads during the period covered by most of the previous shareholder resolutions (1999-2002) has shown that such ads may have done more harm than good.  The research covered the reach and frequency of tobacco company-sponsored ads and whether they were seen by 12-year olds to 17-year olds in the largest 75 U.S. media markets, covering close to 80 percent of all households.  They then examined surveys of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in 48 states collected in the same period for a study on tobacco use and beliefs at the University of Michigan.  The data showed no correlation between the frequency of the industry's anti-smoking ads and actual or intended smoking by the teens.

Melanie Wakefield of the Cancer Council Victor, Melbourne, Australia, a lead researcher on the project declared, "This research provides the clearest evidence to date that tobacco-sponsored ads don't work."

A key element of the study, published in the December, 2006 American Journal of Public Health stated that eighth-graders likely to have seen the ads targeted at parents were more likely to believe that the dangers of smoking had been exaggerated and more likely to say they planned to smoke.  Older teens also expressed stronger approval of smoking and were more likely to have smoked in the 30 days before the school survey.

The Company has not challenged the findings of this study.  Such data about that period belies the Company's statements that its campaign aimed at youth-prevention of smoking are "effective."

RESOLVED:  Shareholders request the Board to stop within one week of the 2007 annual meeting all Company-sponsored "campaigns" allegedly oriented to prevent youth from smoking unless management can produce facts refuting such findings as those above that show such campaigns do not reduce teen smoking.  Shareholders also request the Board to grant annually the monies otherwise spent on these campaigns to those campaigns that have been demonstrated to reduce teen smoking.

[The Response from Philip Morris, Altria, on Proposal 3 is below.]

The Board recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal.

PM USA and PMI both understand that youth smoking prevention is a complex issue for which there is no one simple solution.  Both companies firmly believe that kids should not smoke and that preventing youth smoking should be a vital and central component of comprehensive tobacco regulation.  While the issue of youth smoking must be addressed by governments, regulators, parents, teachers and society in general, PM USA and PMI believe they have a role to play in addressing the issue of youth smoking and that their programs are appropriate and responsible.

In 1998, PM USA created a Youth Smoking Prevention ("YSP") department with the goal of helping to prevent youth from smoking cigarettes.  PM USA firmly believes that kids should not smoke and that PM USA can play an important role in addressing this issue.

PM USA's YSP department develops and disseminates youth smoking prevention communications, makes grants to youth-development organizations, produces tools and resources to help parents talk to their kids about not smoking, and supports youth access prevention initiatives to help keep cigarettes out of kids' hands.  PM USA's work in youth smoking prevention is guided by experts.  PM USA has a Parent Communications Advisory Board, consisting of experts in relevant disciplines.  The Parent Communications Advisory Board supports a parent-directed media campaign to help prevent youth smoking.  PM USA's "Talk.  They'll Listen," television campaign is designed to encourage parents to stay involved in their kids' lives and talk to their kids about not smoking.  The "Talk.  They'll Listen," campaign is also intended to complement our other parent-directed communications, including the online Parent Resource Center and the Raising Kids Who Don't Smoke brochure series.

PM USA's research shows that the campaign is successful in reaching its intended audience.  Based on research as of June 2006, 61 percent of parents of kids 10 to 17 years old reported being aware of at least one ad from the campaign.  Importantly, of those aware, 61 percent reported having talked to their child about not smoking as a result of seeing the ad.

While parents are the intended audience of the "Talk.  They'll Listen." campaign, PM USA recognizes that there is the potential for adolescents to be exposed to the ads on TV.  As part of the research protocol and prior to the airing of the ads, PM USA also talks with youth to identify and avoid unintended advertising message take-aways.  Nothing in PM USA's research raises the concerns indicated by the study published in the American Journal of Public HealthPM USA is exploring various ways to better understand the study and has asked the authors of the study for their underlying research data.  PM USA will continue to seek engagements with relevant  experts to identify opportunities to improve its youth smoking prevention efforts.

Similarly, since 1998, PMI has been taking and supporting measures to prevent youth smoking.  These measures focus on promoting the establishment of laws to prevent minors from buying cigarettes, educating retailers about their responsibility not to sell to minors and teaching children to decide against smoking.

PMI's efforts are focused on the imposition of legal age limits and on retailer compliance with those age limits.  Many countries in the world today do not have minimum age laws and, where such laws exist, they are often not adequately enforced.  PMI wants to see those laws expanded around the globe and, importantly, strictly enforced.   PMI's principal voluntary programs involve working with retailers and educating them about preventing sales to minors.  In addition to these retail access initiatives, PMI also provides financial support to the ongoing efforts of teachers, community groups, youth specialists and health ministries for educational programs aimed at preventing youth smoking.

For these reasons, the Company believes this proposal is not warranted.

Therefore, the Board urges stockholders to vote AGAINST this proposal, and proxies received by the Company will be so voted unless stockholders specify a contrary choice in their proxies.

Proposal 4 -- Get Out of Traditional Tobacco Business by 2010

The Sinsinawa Dominicans ... WI ... claiming beneficial ownership of 75 shares of common stock, together with two co-proponents, submitted the proposal set forth below.  ...

WHEREAS, in 1973 a Philip Morris representative stated:  "We all know that once a consumer product has been proven by the medical profession to be harmful to the human body, the product will be banned from sales and whatever has been sold will be withdrawn from the trade."  He said, if cigarettes would be "undeniably proven to be harmful and conducive to lung cancer, there will definitely be a ban on cigarette sales worldwide."  Later, in the film, Death in the West, a Philip Morris Vice President declared that, if it were shown cigarettes cause harm, "we would withdraw them."  PM USA has never disavowed these statements.

Recently PM USA has promoted itself as socially responsible.  It says it shouldn't be judged by past modes of operating.  However, as late as August, 2006, a Federal Judge overseeing the U.S. Government's lawsuit against it and other tobacco companies ruled it and the others have continually violated racketeering laws by deceiving the public about tobacco dangers.  It stated:

1.  They have falsely denied, distorted and minimized significant adverse health consequences of smoking for decades.

2.  They have consistently manipulated nicotine levels in cigarettes, with resulting addictive consequences.

3.  Their own documents and research reveal their continued recognition that smoking causes serious adverse health effects, along with fears how such knowledge might impact litigation.

Meanwhile, other findings indicate that the company does regulate nicotine levels in its cigarettes, corroborating what the Federal Judge alleged.

While acknowledging that a combination of increased taxes on cigarettes and diminished public access to smoking reduces smoking and, therefore, increases public health and, despite its acknowledgment of smoking's health hazards, PM USA has lobbied mightily to restrict increases in taxes in various states (BW 09.11.06).  This makes the proponents of this resolution convinced the company is not sincere in its state commitment to reduce smoking among people in general, youth in particular and, especially those addicted to its products.

The findings of the Federal Judge and others show that our company has consistently acted duplicitously in the dissemination of its cigarettes.  Despite this, it still has asked the same Judge for permission to continue marketing its alleged "light" and "ultralight" products abroad even though it knows millions of people think they diminish health hazards but do not.  This "boundless rapaciousness" has led The Washington Post to opine of this Company's thinking:  "If we can't continue to defraud Americans into killing themselves ... can we at least keep suggesting to billions of people abroad that some cigarettes are safer than others?"

After years of trying to make this Company more socially responsible, the shareholders filing this resolution are left with no alternative but to submit the following:

RESOLVED, that since it acknowledges the science showing its tobacco products create disease and death, shareholders request the Board of Directors initiate steps to sell or phase out all production, promotion and marketing of its health-hazardous and addictive tobacco products by 2010.

[The Response from Philip Morris, Altria, on Proposal 4, is below.]

The Board recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal.

The core business of both PM USA and PMI is the marketing and sale of tobacco products.  PM USA and PMI believe that the right course is to continue participating in the tobacco industry in the markets in which they operate in a manner that is both effective and responsible.  And that is what they are doing -- by marketing and selling their products responsibly, by supporting the public health community's messages about the dangers of smoking, by advocating strong and effective regulation of tobacco products and by working to develop products that may have the potential to reduce the risks of smoking.  The companies' actions demonstrate a commitment to working together with their shareholders to address the serious public health issues presented by tobacco products.

For years now, the companies have stated that they agree with the public health community that smoking causes serious diseases and is addictive, and they have communicated to their consumers that there is no safe cigarette.  In line with these views, the companies have supported strong, comprehensive regulation.  While the companies do not believe that tobacco use should be prohibited, they have supported and continue to support measures that would assist public health efforts to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use.

For example, PM USA, alone among the major U.S. tobacco companies, continues to support a legislative framework that would establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for tobacco products, and which would provide for comprehensive and effective regulation of tobacco products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Internationally, PMI supports strong and effective tobacco regulation, and is the leading advocate among international companies for strong and effective regulation of tobacco products.  PMI believes that such regulation should be comprehensive, addressing all aspects of the manufacture, sale, marketing and use of tobacco products, and has communicated its views on this subject to many governments and public health officials around the world, including the European Union as well as the World Health Organization.

PM USA and PMI engage in a range of other activities as part of their efforts to responsibly manufacture, market and sell tobacco products.  Both companies support youth smoking prevention programs designed to help prevent children from smoking.  Both companies engage in research that is intended to develop products that might reduce the health effects of smoking.  And both companies work with government authorities to help combat the sale of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes.

PM USA and PMI compete in the tobacco industry in the countries in which they operate, and they expect to do so effectively and responsibly for many years to come.

Therefore, the Board urges stockholders to vote AGAINST this proposal, and proxies received by the Company will be so voted unless stockholders specify a contrary choice in their proxies.

Media Coverage
EXCERPTS from The Richmond [VA] Times-Dispatch, April 27, 2007, headlined, Altria defends lobbying effort;Executive with Philip Morris parent explains opposition to Va. ban, writer John Reid Blackwell with contributions from The Associated Press and Bloomberg. 

Altria Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Louis C. Camilleri yesterday defended the company's decision to fight a restaurant smoking ban in Virginia, despite having previously said it would not lobby on the issue.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine proposed the restaurant smoking ban as an amendment to another bill passed by the General Assembly during its recent legislative session. Camilleri told shareholders at Altria's annual meeting in East Hanover, N.J., that the company fought the proposed ban because it would have extended beyond restaurants to include areas such as outdoor festivals.

"We felt [Kaine's] amendments were too draconian and extreme," Camilleri said during the meeting, which was webcast.

Supporters of the ban interpreted Kaine's amendment differently, saying it would have applied only to indoor areas of restaurants. The House of Delegates rejected the smoking ban by a 59-40 vote April 4.

Camilleri's comments came in response to questions by Anne Morrow Donley, a tobacco-control activist from Richmond, who said the company had gone back on a pledge not to lobby against indoor smoking laws.

"You have broken that promise," Donley told Camilleri at the meeting. "This year in Virginia, my home state, you intervened more than once."

Camilleri said the company did refrain from lobbying on smoking restrictions in 2005 and 2006. "However, we have revised that policy," he said, adding that the company would get involved in cases where it believes smoking bans would go too far in restricting property rights. "Then, I think, we have a duty to adult smokers to defend their own rights, because they do have rights," he said.

About 200 shareholders attended the meeting, the first since Altria spun off its stake in Kraft Foods Inc. last month. Camilleri said the company is considering separating its international and U.S. tobacco businesses. He said the company won't rush to spin off the international tobacco unit as it studies options to increase the share price.

Shareholders defeated five shareholder proposals at the meeting, including one to get out of the traditional tobacco business by 2010.

EXCERPTS from The Daily Record, New Jersey, April 27, 2007, headlined, Altria protesters are fuming mad; At shareholder meeting, they demand some responsibility; writer Vidya Padmanabhan
EAST HANOVER --Rising international cigarette sales generated the most buzz at Altria Group's shareholders meeting on Thursday -- for investors and anti-smoking protesters alike.

First, Chairman Louis C. Camilleri touted an increase in subsidiary Philip Morris International's first- quarter income, which had risen by 9.5 percent over the same period last year.

Later, Yul Francisco Dorado, a Colombian activist, said through a translator that the marketing practices of multinational tobacco companies were claiming more lives than political violence in his country and others.

Thursday's meeting at Kraft Foods' technology center was packed with nearly 200 investors, who represented 86.7 percent of Altria's stock, company officials said. This included a vocal contingent of protesters, who also were shareholders --often of just one share, Camilleri said.

It was the last time Altria would meet with shareholders at the Kraft Foods compound --Kraft was spun off from the parent company last month.

The Kraft spin-off and the rumored breakup of the high-performing Philip Morris International from Philip Morris USA has been generating significant interest among industry watchers.

When added to the price of the Kraft shares received by Altria shareholders last month, Altria's current share prices represented an all-time closing high, when compared with the pre-spin-off Altria share value, Camilleri said.

Internationally, cigarette shipments rose 1.5 percent in the first quarter, which Camilleri credited to the acquisition of a tobacco company in Pakistan and gains in several countries, including Egypt, Poland, Ukraine and Indonesia.

Following Camilleri's speech, the comment session saw an Indonesian youth activist, Dina Kania, step up to the microphone to accuse Altria of advertising to youth. The company did this, she said, in spite of its declaration of support for the World Health Organization's Global Tobacco Treaty, signed by more than 150 countries, which restricts tobacco promotion and sponsorship.

"My heart is heavy," Kania said. Billboards advertising cigarettes to minors could be seen in Indonesia, even near schools, she said. She had attended a human beatbox concert on March 30, where she had seen children as young as 5, and also had seen banners, T-shirts and promotional material printed with Philip Morris brand logos being handed out, she said.

Camilleri responded that instead of criticizing the company, Kania should be applauding the health-promotion measures the company had taken since entering Indonesia. Philip Morris had imposed marketing restrictions and remained committed to getting strong legislation in place, he said.

As for the advertising that existed, Camilleri said Philip Morris had entered Indonesia through the acquisition of a local tobacco company, implying that the advertising was the work of the local company.

"Your hatred completely blinds your judgment," Camilleri told several of the protesters. "We should join forces on what we do agree on."

Investment-minded shareholders clucked in irritation at the long lines of activists who stood at the microphones on both aisles, waiting to deliver critiques of Philip Morris'social responsibility. One man questioned Altria for allowing the meeting to "be hijacked by the lunatic fringe."

Near the end of the meeting, the protesters stood en masse and, wearing breath-masks, strung out police caution tape and held signs that said "Stop the toxic epidemic" and "Quarantined for global health."

Part of the group later met and continued the protest with compatriots who had held a vigil outside the Kraft campus, wearing costumes designed to resemble cigarette-cartons and chanting, "Stop, stop tobacco."

[Virginia GASP]  Added 27 April 2007, Updated 14 June 2007