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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Denmark is a European country on the north coast of Germany and extending out into the North Sea, having a population of 5.4 million and capital city of Copenhagen. It is a member of both NATO and the European Union. Greenland, the world's largest island, is a self-governing terrority of Denmark.[1]

National Geographic writes of environmental concerns in the country, "Devastation of lobster colonies by industrial pollution has prompted imposition of some of the world's strictest environmental standards. More and more Danes are using alternative energy sources—wind power, solar energy, and geothermal heat—for environmental and economic reasons. Wind is an increasingly important source of energy in Denmark, and windmills are an important export."[1]

It has a modern economy and an extensive welfare system. The BBC writes, "The Social Democrats led a string of coalition governments for most of the second half of the last century in a country generally known for its liberal traditions. This pattern was upset in November 2001 when a centre-right coalition promising tighter immigration controls came to power following a snap election called by the then Social Democrat Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in an attempt to capitalise on his rising popularity in the wake of the 11 September attacks on the US." [2]

Tobacco industry

Dolisson speech

In a June 12, 1990 speech, John Dollison, Vice President of Philip Morris' International Corporate Affairs, describes some of PM's under-the-radar corporate tactics in Denmark. Dollison boasts about how PM created and controlled a supposedly "independent" coalition called "The Committee for Freedom of Commercial Expression" in Denmark to oppose a tobacco ad ban directive. The coalition operated at arm's length from PM. Dollison boasts about how this coalition convinced the Danish Ministry of Health to oppose a tobacco ad ban. He also lists other countries where PM has used this secret tactic, and proposes that PM expand this tactic further to other countries:

In Denmark, for example, we have created a coalition known (in English) as the Committee for Freedom of Commercial Expression ... we were able to recruit more than 50 prominent Danes ...The group has conducted media briefings, participated in debates, and written articles and conducted and publicized an opinion poll ... Members of Government (including the Minister of Health) now regularly ... consult with coalition members ...The coalition was instrumental in securing the commitment and public declaration of the Minister Of Health to oppose an advertising ban ... And, finally, the functioning of the coalition is managed at arms length -- distanced from P.M., although completely controlled by P.M ... We have set up similar coalitions in Holland, New Zealand and EEC for sport. Many more are required ... "

Dollison also describes how voluntary, self-imposed "advertising codes" (which, he admits, make no more concessions than PM has already made in most countries in which they operate) help deflect further restrictions on tobacco advertising:

What I am talking about is a list of self-imposed [advertising] constraints which will enable us to more plausibly claim the high moral ground in future controversies and, not least, to more easily manage and possible triumph in future crises...Such a regime, effectively implemented and sold, I believe, have the inestimable advantage of repositioning Philip Morris in the world-wide debate over the rights and wrongs of tobacco. It would gain us support from those with no affection for our enemies but who also harbour deep suspicion of our motives and methods. It would give us just that little bit more breathing space, just that little bit more room to maneuver. Believe me, we need it.[3]

Philip Morris plan for the Nordic area

A 1987 Philip Morris strategy report for the Nordic area outlines PM's comprehensive corporate plan to attack the secondhand smoke issue in northern Europe. Aimed at reversing the declining social acceptability of smoking in the Nordic area, the plan includes crafting a "second opinion" about the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke, or ETS, "building smokers' self-esteem," creating an "airline milieu" to use as a venue for offering their own information, putting on "healthy building seminars" using Gray Robertson's company, Air Conditioning and Ventilation Atlantic or ACVA Atlantic (which later became Healthy Buildings International, after Philip Morris took it over) and an extensive media plan aimed at assuring that PM's point of view stretched to reach virtually every citizen of northern Europe -- without anyone realizing the point of view emanated from PM. The entire document offers significant detail about PM's wide-ranging battle tactics to fight public health measures. Their plans even includes a diversionary "white-hat" proposal for currying favor among Nordic-area politicians while they clandestinely fight pro-health legislation: "Prepare plan for approaching other issues in society (AIDS, traffic, etc.), offering statistical material and helping them to get more funds for their projects."). One very telling line from the document is listed under "Tactics." It states, "4. Build IAQ [indoor air quality] industry and science without visible tobacco industry presence."[4]

Military in Iraq

Denmark has supported the U.S. in Iraq, sending some 500 soldiers.[2] In February 2007, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he will withdraw the soldiers, now numbering about 460, by August of 2007 and that they will be replaced by about 50 soldiers manning observational helicopters. [5]

On July 21, 2007, the New York Times wrote, "Denmark has secretly airlifted about 200 translators and other Iraqi employees and their relatives out of Iraq to try to keep them from coming to harm after it withdraws its ground forces later this summer, the Danish government disclosed Friday. The move was to protect interpreters and other employees, prime targets for Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias who accuse Iraqis who work for American-led forces here of being collaborators." [6]

Most of its soldiers were withdrawn earlier than expected. Stationed in the southern city of Basra, under British command, the withdrawal came early because of sustained attacks by Iraqis. [7]


  • Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime minister, centre-right government was re-elected for a third term in 2007 on the issues of boosting the economy and tightening immigration.[2]


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 Denmark, National Geographic, accessed April 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Country profile: Denmark, BBC, accessed April 2008.
  3. John Dollison, Philip Morris International Corporate Affairs PMI Marketing Conference - 1990 "Corporate Affairs" by John Dollisson Vice President Corporate Affairs International June 21, 1990 - Naples, Florida Speech. June 21, 1990. 16 pp. Bates No. 2500120138/0153
  4. Philip Morris International [2501189885/9898 ETS Plan, Nordic Area 19870000]. Report/chart/graph. 1987/estimated date. 14 pp. Bates No. 2501189885/9898
  5. Denmark to pull troops from Iraq, BBC, February 21, 2007.
  6. Denmark Says It Secretly Flew Iraqi Employees Out of Iraq, New York Times, July 21, 2007.
  7. Denmark 'pulls out troops early',, July 26, 2007.

External articles

External resources