Philip Morris' litigation prevention program in Asia
Sungkyu Lee 1  
,   Jae-Hyung Kim 2
 
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1
Korean Association on Smoking or Health, Korea, Republic of
2
Seoul National University, Korea, Republic of
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A99
 
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ABSTRACT
Background:
Since the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) in 1998, Philip Morris (PM) as a transnational tobacco company (TTC) has concerned about the tobacco litigation filed outside of the US and subsequent litigation expenses. We identified the strategies of PM and its affiliates in the intervention and prevention of litigation outside the US, especially in South Korea and other Asian countries.

Methods:
Analysis of 193 documents obtained from the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, and data from governments/international organisation reports, media, and scholar articles.

Results:
PM organised and operated the Litigation Prevention Program (LPP) to create legal environments making tobacco litigation difficult to begin, and resources such as networks with local lawyers, officials, media, and even competitors to effectively response to such litigation. PM developed the LPP based on its legal strategies in the US against tobacco litigation, and disseminated them all around the world including South Korea. In 1999, the first joint action against Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Cooperate, (KTGC) a state-owned tobacco company in Korea, and Korean government was begun. KTGC asked PM to support this tobacco litigation, and PM provided KTGC with its legal strategies through the LPP. In front of legal threats, tobacco companies, competitors in markets, jointly fought back the litigation in Korea.

Conclusions:
Any litigation against a single local tobacco company may confront legal networks of transnational tobacco companies. Development of guidelines of Article 19 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is needed to support tobacco litigation around the world. Without the legal support from international anti-tobacco community, it would be hard for local tobacco litigation to win.

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