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Philip Morris USA Comments on 2006 Monitoring the Future Survey Showing All-Time Low Youth Smoking Rates


Company Reaffirms Commitment to Playing an Active Role in Youth Smoking Prevention

Richmond, Va (December 21, 2006) – Philip Morris USA today said it is pleased that data from the University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” survey showed that smoking rates among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students have decreased to all-time lows.

“These reductions are the results of many people working on this issue. Clearly more needs to be done and Philip Morris USA looks forward to continuing to work with others to have a positive impact on this issue,” said Jennifer Hunter, vice president, Youth Smoking Prevention and Corporate Responsibility Programs.

The survey data showed the following results:

· Since they reached their peak rates in the mid-1990s, current daily smoking rates have fallen by half among 12th graders, and by more than half among those in 8th and 10th grades.

· Statistics for monthly smoking are down by large proportions from the mid-1990s, when they reached a peak. Monthly prevalence (the percent smoking at all in the past 30 days) is down by about 60 percent, 50 percent and 40 percent in grades 8, 10, and 12, respectively.

· Lifetime prevalence of ever smoking a cigarette is down by about half among 8th graders, 40 percent among 10th graders, and 30 percent among 12th graders since the peak year of 1996, or 1997 in the case of 12th graders.

Youth smoking is a complex issue for which there is no simple solution. Experts point to a variety of societal, environmental and personal factors that must be considered to help prevent youth smoking, and recommend a multi-faceted approach.

“As a business and as parents, we don’t want kids to smoke. As the largest tobacco manufacturer we can play a proactive role in helping prevent youth smoking and we will continue to do so while identifying opportunities to further enhance our youth smoking prevention efforts,” said Hunter.

Philip Morris USA’s youth smoking prevention efforts consist of a comprehensive approach based on information from public health authorities, as well as guidance from an advisory board of youth development experts. We have resources and communications to promote parent conversations with their children about not smoking. We also provide grants to school and community-based programs that help support positive development and healthy alternatives for kids. We support youth access prevention initiatives that keep kids from having access to cigarettes. Likewise, we responsibly market our products to adult smokers and support research to help us better understand youth smoking:

· Since 1998 Philip Morris USA has spent over $1 billion on its youth smoking prevention efforts.

· Consistent with its obligations under the Tobacco Settlements Agreements, Philip Morris USA has made payments of over $30 billion to the states since 1998 and we encourage them to fund youth smoking prevention initiatives if they choose to do so.

· Over 65 million Raising Kids Who Don’t Smoke parent resources have been distributed. Philip Morris USA’s “Talk. They’ll Listen.” television campaign is designed to encourage parents to talk to their kids about not smoking. Based on June 2006 research, among those aware of the campaign, 61 percent of parents of 10 to 17 year olds reported having talked to their kids about not smoking as a result of seeing at least one of the ads.

· Between 1999 and 2005, we provided grants in excess of $150 million. As part of our grant-making during this time period, we provided over $30 million to schools and school districts in 24 states for the implementation of LifeSkills Training. With our support more than 630,000 middle-school students have participated in this program. In 2005, we provided grants to 39 organizations across the U.S. that reached approximately 700,000 kids.

· Philip Morris USA is the major supporter of the We Card youth access prevention program at retail. To date, more than 95,500 retailers have been trained in the We Card program and We Card signage is in more than 250,000 retail stores our sales force visits. 2005 Centers for Disease Control National Youth Risk Behavior Survey data showed that 15.2% of high school students got their own cigarettes by buying them in a store or gas station; down from 35.5% in 1999.

· We market our products responsibly to adult smokers and have lowered the overall profile of our cigarette brands: in 2000 we discontinued brand advertising on the back covers of all magazines and since 2005 have placed no cigarette brand advertising in any newspapers or magazines.

Philip Morris USA is an operating company of Altria Group Inc (NYSE: MO). For more information about Philip Morris USA, our programs and positions on tobacco-related issues, please visit us at


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