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Philip Morris Int'l CEO: Tobacco not hard to quit

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By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM
AP Tobacco Writer

RICHMOND, VA (AP) -- The head of cigarette maker Philip Morris International says tobacco is not that hard to quit.

CEO Louis Camilleri's statement was in response to a cancer nurse's comments at its annual shareholder meeting in New York on Wednesday.

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.

The woman identifying herself as a nurse from the University of California-San Francisco said a patient last week told her that of all the addictions he's beaten, cigarettes were hardest to quit.

Camilleri acknowledged that cigarettes are harmful and addictive but said it is not that hard to quit. He pointed to the fact that there are more former smokers in America than current smokers.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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