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Excerpts from: New York Smoking Ban May Burn Philip Morris
By GORDON FAIRCLOUGH / Staff Reporter of THE
WALL STREET JOURNAL [12/12/02]
New York City is poised to enact one of the nation's most sweeping smoking bans, a move that raises a host of troubling questions for the tobacco industry.
Among them: Will Louis C. Camilleri, the urbane chairman of Philip Morris Cos., the country's largest cigarette maker, have to huddle in the cold outside his Park Avenue headquarters when he wants to smoke a Marlboro Ultra Light? . .
When New York moved to restrict smoking in public places in 1995, the city, in an effort to mollify Philip Morris, a big employer and taxpayer, effectively granted the company an exemption from the law. Mr. Bloomberg's new law removes that exemption, though it allows smoking for product-testing purposes on two floors of tobacco businesses' buildings. . .
The law would be one of the toughest local antismoking ordinances in the country. Activists opposed to smoking believe that its passage could encourage other cities to take similar steps, accelerating a trend in recent years toward increasing the restrictions on where people can smoke. "When you have a high-profile city like New York considering such a comprehensive law, it sets a tone," says Cynthia Hallett, executive director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, a Berkeley, Calif., group that pushes for smoking bans. "It's going to raise the bar for other cities to protect their citizens." . .
Walking into Philip Morris's headquarters today is a bit like traveling back in time to the 1950s, when smoking was widespread. From Mr. Camilleri on down, many of the people who work in Philip Morris's headquarters smoke -- in their offices, in meetings, in the cafeteria.
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