The story also reveals that Philip Morris is getting huge tax break from the City of Richmond for this.
PETA is correct in pointing out that this is "bad news for animals". Unfortunately, PETA suggests that Philip Morris do their research on human volunteers instead. This would be bad news for humans.
The tobacco industry has been heavily involved in animal testing for a long time. RJR had a Biological Research Division, more commonly known as "the mouse house", in Winston-Salem, NC. They shut it down in 1970, and fired the staff, killed all the lab animals, and forbade their employees from talking about it. You can read about it here.
We already know that cigarettes kill, and so do the tobacco industry's own scientists. There isn't any compelling need to add to the body of knowledge that already exists on this subject.