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It is gratifying when those outside the immediate community of tobacco control advocacy say it like it is. When in July Philip Morris (PM) invited French speaking, non-industry scientists from several European countries to a “scientific symposium” on PM’s harm reduction programme to be held in November in Switzerland, it cannot have envisaged just how badly the publicity, a major goal of its attempted rehabilitation programme, could go wrong. Prominent in the French press was a call to boycott the all-expenses paid junkett. One of those behind the move, Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg, put it rather nicely: “The makers of anti-personnel landmines at least have the decency not to invite orthopaedic surgeons to a symposium to talk about the risks associated with their products, or to get the surgeons’ thoughts on the subject.”