Steven C. Parrish

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Steven C. Parrish circa 1996. Photo from Internet Archive.

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Steven C. Parrish is Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Altria Group, the parent company of cigarette maker Philip Morris (PM). In this position, he is responsible for implementing PM's Corporate Affairs strategies. Internal PM documents reveal that PM's Corporate Affairs department is responsible for implementing strategies to thwart public health efforts to reducing smoking. A September 1993 "Strictly Confidential" PM USA Corporate Affairs Plan states a goal of corporate affairs was to "Stop the decline in, and start re-building the social acceptability of smokers and smoking in society."page 2. Other Goals of PM's Corporate Affairs department have included preventing cigarette excise tax initiatives from reaching the ballot, thwarting the passage of public smoking restrictions and efforts to limit tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. [1] Corporate Affairs is also responsible for building fake, corporate "grassroots" coalitions to help PM fight a wide variety of public health initiatives to reduce tobacco use.[2]

Biographical Information

Parrish was born on April 13, 1950 in Moberly, Missouri. He received a B.A. degree in Political Science in 1972, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri and received a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1975. While in law school he served as editor of the law review. Prior to working for PM, Parrish was a member of the Kansas City law firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon (SHB) beginning in 1975 and became a partner in 1980. SHB has represented Philip Morris in numerous lawsuits and has a long history of working on behalf of PM. SHB was responsible for screening external scientific research projects with the goal of minimizing threats to PM of adverse publicity and litigation. Parrish works out of Philip Morris, Inc., headquarters at 120 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017.

Not long after he started working for Philip Morris, Parrish, then 40 years old, highly educated, well to do, surprised himself by taking up smoking. Experts say almost no one starts smoking so late in life. So why did Parrish? It wasn't from anxiety or curiosity or the pressures of the new job, he says. In fact, He struggles to explain it. "There are times when I like fiddling with a cigarette before I even light it. There are times when I like to see the smoke go up. I like the sensation in the back of my throat. Sort of all those things. I don't know. I have never really thought about it, I guess." (Washington Post National Weekly Edition, January 13, 1997, pg. 9)

Parrish is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Philip Morris-U.S.A. In 1990 he worked on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft Risk Assessment and draft Workplace Policy Guide on environmental tobacco smoke. During this time he was Vice President of Corporate Scientific Affairs for Philip Morris.

Parrish has knowledge of Philip Morris', and the tobacco industry's, participation in public fraud and disinformation relative to health hazards of tobacco, the manipulation of nicotine in tobacco products and marketing of tobacco products to children. He served as Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel for Philip Morris in 1986 and again from 1992 to 1993. He served as Senior Vice President of Executive Affairs, Secretary, General Counsel and served on the Board of Directors from 1994 to 1995.(Source: Philip Morris Summary - PMI Liability Notebook)(DOCS 000040) Mr. Parrish has defended Philip Morris on the "MacNeil - Lehrer News Hour" and other news programs.

As an in-house lawyer for Philip Morris, he worked on the [[Parrish is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Philip Morris-U.S.A. In 1990 he worked on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft risk assessment and draft work place policy guide on environmental tobacco smoke. During this time he was Vice President of Corporate Scientific Affairs for Philip Morris.

Parrish has knowledge of Philip Morris' and the tobacco industry's participation in public fraud and disinformation relative to health hazards of tobacco, the manipulation of nicotine in tobacco products and marketing of tobacco products to children. He served as Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel for Philip Morris in 1986 and again from 1992 to 1993. He served as Senior Vice President of Executive Affairs, Secretary, General Counsel and served on the Board of Directors from 1994 to 1995. (Source: Philip Morris Summary - PMI Liability Notebook) (DOCS 000040) Mr. Parrish has defended Philip Morris on the "MacNeil - Lehrer News Hour" and other news programs.

As an in-house lawyer for Philip Morris, he worked on the Rose Defrancesco Cipollone case, a landmark liability case at the cigarette company's loss, but later won on appeal.(NYT 8/28/95) Not long after he started working for Philip Morris, Parrish, then 40 years old, highly educated, well to do, surprised himself by taking up smoking. Experts say almost no one starts smoking so late in life. So why did Parrish? It wasn't from anxiety or curiosity or the pressures of the new job, he says. In fact, He struggles to explain it. "There are times when I like fiddling with a cigarette before I even light it. There are times when I like to see the smoke go up. I like the sensation in the back of my throat. Sort of all those things. I don't know. I have never really thought about it, I guess." (Washington Post National Weekly Edition, January 13, 1997, pg. 9)

Positions Held at Philip Morris

During his long career in tobacco, Mr. Parrish has had numerous titles at PM. He served as Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel for Philip Morris in 1986 and again from 1992 to 1993. In September 1992 he was appointed Senior Vice President of External Affairs, and General Counsel for Philip Morris USA. In 1994 he was appointed Senior Vice President of PM Worldwide Regulatory Affairs. He served as Senior Vice President of Executive Affairs, Secretary, General Counsel and served on the Board of Directors from 1994 to 1995. (Source: Philip Morris Summary - PMI Liability Notebook) Parrish has also served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Philip Morris-U.S.A. In 1990 he was Vice President of Corporate Scientific Affairs for Philip Morris.

Mr. Parrish has publicly defended Philip Morris on the "MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour," "Face the Nation," "Meet the Press" and other news programs.

Salary and Compensation

According to his profile in Forbes Magazine, in 2005 Mr. Parrish made a salary of $934,423 plus a bonus of $1,350,000. Combined with other short term and long term compensation, Mr. Parrish's total compensation in 2005 was $7,789,957. His total stock options in 2005 were valued at $53,112,037.[3]

Tobacco Industry Documents

  • Press release approved by Steven Parrish announcing that Philip Morris is suing the city of San Francisco to overturn a 1994 smoke-free ordinance. The release claims the ordinance violates the California Constitution, is preempted by state safety regulations and will do "irrepearable harm to businesses."
  • 1995 A speech by Steven Parrish in which he describes PM strategies to thwart public health efforts to reduce tobacco use. Parrish describes how PM undermined a strong tobacco-related public health billboard campaign in Moscow: "In Russia, the Moscow city government was prepared to run a very negative anti-smoking billboard campaign. PM was present at a meeting on the issue and offered to take part in the program provided it focused solely on youth. As a result, what may have been a broad, very negative campaign is now a positive youth-oriented billboard program carrying the tag line 'Smoking can wait.'" Parrish describes tactics PM used to stop the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from passing workplace smoking limitations. He describes PM's strategy to pass restrictive legislation ("preepmtion") that removes people's rights to pass smoke-free laws. He also tells of the success the company has had in passing its legislation in 17 states. He describes PM efforts to implement tort reform, and efforts to "deal with the wolves at the door."

Contact

Steven C. Parrish
Altria Group
120 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10017
Tel. 917-663-4000

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