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Altria Group

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Altria Group, Inc., formerly called Philip Morris Companies Inc., is one of the world's largest food, beverages, and tobacco corporations.

Altria owns 100% of Philip Morris USA Inc., Philip Morris International Inc., and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. It also owns 84% of Kraft Foods Inc.[?] and 36% of SABMiller plc[?].

Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International are the world's largest commercial tobacco companies (not including the China National Tobacco Co.[?] monopoly). Their flagship Marlboro brand is the world leader.

It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MO (thus the nickname "Big Mo").

Philip Morris was begun by a London tobacconist named Philip Morris (? - 1873). He was one of the first people to sell hand-rolled cigarettes in the 1860s, selling them under the brand names Oxford and Cambridge Blues, following the adoption of cigarette smoking by British soldiers returning from the Crimean War.

The company opened its New York office in 1902.

On January 27, 2003, Philip Morris Companies Inc. changed its name to Altria Group, Inc.

See also: lung cancer, Tobacco smoking

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