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Is smoking really THAT hard to quit?

RICHMOND, Va. – The head of cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. told a cancer nurse Wednesday that while cigarettes are harmful and addictive, it is not that hard to quit.

CEO Louis C. Camilleri's statement was in response to comments at its annual shareholder meeting in New York, in which the seller of Marlboro and other brands overseas spent most of the gathering sparring with members of anti-tobacco and other groups targeting its marketing and regulatory dealings.

A woman identifying herself as a nurse named Elizabeth from the University of California-San Francisco cited statistics that tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and 5 million people worldwide each year.

She also said a patient told her last week that of all the addictions he's beaten — crack, cocaine, meth — cigarettes have been the most difficult.

In response, 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."

Philip Morris International, with offices in New York and Lausanne, Switzerland, was spun off from Richmond, Va.-based Altria in March 2008. Altria still sells Marlboro and other Philip Morris brands in the U.S.

Philip Morris International is the world's largest non-governmental cigarette seller, smaller only than state-controlled China National Tobacco Corp.

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 11:50 AM on May. 11, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (41)
  • I didn't read that but to answer your question as an ex-smoker - YES!!!!!!!!

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 11:51 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • Ask Obama.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 11:51 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • I guess for some.... I smoked on and off for about 7 years and just decided one morning after a night of partying that I was done... and I was. That was in '03. Ppl just need to decide they want to do it and just do it. If they don't want to quit, they won't.

    Answer by Mel_in_PHX at 11:52 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • Oh yes I am having an awful time even though I know what it does to me, it's been a long ride and I am ready to get off this roller coaster.........way easier said then done

    Answer by buttonlts at 11:52 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • Well, that doesn't just fly in the face of all the known medical research, does it? But, as I can't imagine why Mr. Camilleri would have cause to lie, I will take his words at face value without further thought or investigation.

    Answer by bishopblack at 11:52 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • If smoking wasn't that hard to quit, my father would have done it by now, and maybe he wouldn't be DYING. Asshole (the one who stated "smoking is easy to quit").

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 11:52 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • I had a hard time and have been quit now for 4 months...i used chantix

    Answer by littlekitty2002 at 11:53 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • It's an addiction and just like any other addiction, it is hard as f*ck to quit...of course the cigerette company is going to spout a bunch of BS to make themselves look better....but as a person who has been smoking off and on since she was 13....yeah, hard as hell lol

    Answer by Lucky209 at 11:55 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • I smoked 1 1/2 packs per day for 14 years... And I quit 14 months ago... No, it wasn't THAT difficult. Honestly, the fear of quitting was worse than the actual quitting. I'd heard horror stories of how hard it was, and I believe those stories kept me from trying for a LONG time...

    Answer by CeeCee333 at 11:56 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • My husband is a very strong and confident person. He loves to be in control and in charge which has made him a great manager. The one thing that has controled him for years was cigarettes. He is trying to quit again and has been smoke free for almost a week. It is hard the first two days he went through withdrawls he was shaking and had a horrible headache. It was not fun to watch him go through that. He has more energy today he said and has noticed the goods things about smoking already. His constant runny nose is gone, he can taste food and he knows he smells better. He said he still has that craving and it has been very hard to not just go by cigarettes and feed that craving. He will call me when he has those feelings and I will talk him down from it. He is in therapy and is taking some medication. It is hard and not a shocker this moron from the tobacco industry would say it wasn't.

    Answer by chaiteamomma at 12:00 PM on May. 11, 2011

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