Philip Morris CEO: Smoking Not Hard to Quit
CEO himself characterized as 'longtime smoker'
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2011 12:36 PM CDT
In this Feb. 8, 2008 photo released by Altria Group, Philip Morris International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Louis C. Camilleri is shown.   (AP Photo/Altria Group, Todd Rosenberg)
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(Newser) – Sure, cigarettes are bad for you and addictive, but they're really not that hard to quit—in the rose-colored world that belongs to Philip Morris CEO Louis Camilleri, who was responding to anti-tobacco comments at the cigarette maker's annual shareholder meeting. Camilleri was in 2009 characterized as a "longtime smoker himself," reports the AP, who had quit only once for three months when he had a cold.

In response, the often unapologetic Camilleri said: "We take our responsibility very seriously, and I don't think we get enough recognition for the efforts we make to ensure that there is effective worldwide regulation of a product that is harmful and that is addictive. Nevertheless, whilst it is addictive, it is not that hard to quit. ... There are more previous smokers in America today than current smokers." The company did not immediately comment on Camilleri's remarks, or whether he still smokes.