Shareholder Campaign: Altria & Philip Morris International

Altria (parent company of Philip Morris USA) and Philip Morris International—two of the world’s largest tobacco companies and makers of Marlboro, Virginia Slims, and Parliament, among other brands—continue to subject thousands of animals to cruel and deadly tests despite the fact that animals are not legally required to be used to test tobacco products and even though superior non-animal testing methods exist. In recent tests by these companies, hundreds of animals had cigarette smoke pumped directly into their noses for hours a day and for months on end before being killed and dissected.

2005 Resolution: Eliminate Animal Testing for Tobacco Products

PETA filed a resolution with Altria (Philip Morris USA’s parent company) asking that the company cease all use of animals for the testing of tobacco products.

PETA’s resolution pointed out that forcing animals to breathe tobacco smoke does not improve our understanding of how cigarettes cause cancer in humans and that countries such as Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have prohibited the testing of tobacco products on animals. We asked Altria to commit to eliminating all further use of animals in the testing of tobacco, tobacco derivatives, and tobacco-related products.

Our resolution garnered more than 31 million votes (more than 2.5 percent of the vote), but unfortunately, it did not pass the hurdle required to reintroduce it the following year.

2006 Resolution: Animal Welfare Policy

PETA filed another resolution to Altria calling on the company to develop and make publicly accessible an animal welfare policy that would include reducing the numbers of animals used and implementing social and behavioral enrichment measures for the animals used both in-house and at contract laboratories.

Altria published our resolution in its proxy materials, along with its opposition statement advising shareholders to vote against it. Our resolution garnered 3.6 percent of the vote (more than 44 million shares), which qualified it to be reintroduced in 2007.

2007 Resolution: Animal Welfare Policy

When PETA refiled the 2006 resolution for Altria’s 2007 shareholder meeting, the company again published our resolution in its proxy materials along with its opposition statement advising shareholders to vote against it. Our resolution was brought to a vote and garnered 4 percent of the shares (more than 48 million shares).

2012: More Stock Purchased in Philip Morris

After learning that Philip Morris continues to voluntarily conduct deadly tests in which thousands of rats are stuffed into tiny canisters and have tobacco smoke pumped directly into their noses for six hours a day for 90 consecutive days, PETA bought stock in Philip Morris International in order to attend annual meetings and submit shareholder resolutions calling for an end to a practice that is inhumane and archaic.

2013 Resolution: Ban on Nonrequired Animal Testing

PETA files a shareholder resolution with Philip Morris International calling on the company to join Lorillard Tobacco in prohibiting all experiments on animals, unless the tests are required by law. Currently, no law requires that tobacco products be tested on animals.

PETA’s Milestones for Animals

PETA's Milestones for

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind