PETA Hits Three Tobacco Companies with Proposals to End Deadly Animal Tests

Shareholder Resolutions Demand Corporations Stop Tormenting Animals in Archaic Smoking Tests

For Immediate Release:
December 4, 2013

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – PETA is filing shareholder resolutions with three major tobacco companies to compel them to stop conducting experiments in which animals are forced to inhale cigarette smoke, eat tobacco, and have cigarette tar painted onto their bare skin. Tests on animals for tobacco products are not required by U.S. law.

Resolutions have been filed with R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris International, and PETA will be filing with Altria (the parent company of Philip Morris USA) tomorrow.

PETA purchased just enough stock in these companies last year for the express purpose of filing the resolutions.

“Forcing animals to smoke the equivalent of five packs a day is bad science, bad for animals, and bad for business,” says PETA Director Justin Goodman. “As a shareholder, PETA is calling on these companies to modernize their research practices and ban all tests on animals that are not required by law.”

In one recent experiment at R.J. Reynolds (the maker of Camel, Kool, Winston, and Pall Mall cigarettes), nearly 900 mice and rats were given food laced with tobacco. Some of the animals developed hair loss, ulcers, and swollen genitals. In other studies, experimenters with Philip Morris International (the maker of Marlboro, Virginia Slims, and Parliament cigarettes, among others) and Altria confined animals to tiny containers and forced them to inhale cigarette smoke for hours on end for often months at a time before killing and dissecting them.

As PETA points out in its resolutions, modern non-animal testing methods that use human cells and tissues are available to test new and existing tobacco products. Imperial Tobacco, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, states, “Imperial Tobacco does not commission or conduct research involving animals, and would not undertake such research unless formally required to do so by governments or by recognised regulatory authorities.”

PETA’s shareholder resolutions are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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