Cancer charity boss slams Philip Morris’s bid to buy Vectura ahead of shareholder vote
- Alizee Frogue of Cancer Research UK is an asthma sufferer herself
- ‘I’m shocked by the idea that a tobacco company may profit from my disease’
A director at Cancer Research UK has slammed tobacco giant Philip Morris’s bid to buy a British inhaler company as it closes in on the deal.
Alizee Froguel, a policy manager at Cancer Research UK and an asthma sufferer, said tobacco companies cannot be trusted to stop selling cigarettes to ‘reach smoke-free ambitions’.
She said: ‘As someone struggling with severe asthma and also working to reduce smoking’s toll on society, I’m shocked by the idea that a tobacco company may soon profit from my disease.
Vectura shareholders will vote on the £1.1billion deal on Wednseday
‘Though Philip Morris International claims critics of the deal aren’t letting them move away from tobacco and become part of the smoke-free world, it’s difficult to take this seriously when acquiring Vectura could incentivise the company to sell more cigarettes.
‘This is because they would not only profit from the sales of cigarettes but also from treating diseases made more prevalent by these sales.
‘We can’t rely on the corporate conscience of Big Tobacco.’
Her comments come before the deadline on Wednesday for Vectura shareholders to vote on the £1.1billion deal.
Philip Morris, which already has a 29 per cent stake, needs support from more than 50 per cent of shareholders.
One top-20 investor told The Mail on Sunday it would support the bid, arguing that it is the best outcome for investors. But the potential deal has attracted a fierce backlash.
Philip Morris International said it is ‘accelerating its journey to completely end cigarette sales’.