Philip Morris International said it plans to stop selling cigarettes in the U.K. within 10 years. The U.K. government has similarly said it wants to end smoking in England by 2030.
The company’s Marlboro brand is the best-selling cigarette brand in the world, but Chief Executive Officer Jacek Olczak said Philip Morris is ready to move away from traditional cigarettes completely.
“I want to allow this company to leave smoking behind,” Philip Morris CEO Jacek Olczak said in an interview with the Daily Mail. “I think in the U.K., ten years from now maximum, you can completely solve the problem of smoking.”
Anti-smoking activists and healthcare organizations pointed out that Philip Morris International has made similar statements before, yet cigarettes are still sold across the U.K. In 2016, Philip Morris former Chief Executive André Calantzopoulos said he hoped the company would stop selling cigarettes.
Philip Morris is turning to e-cigarettes and other smoke-free alternatives. A six-minute video on the homepage of the company’s website features Olczak outlining a “smoke-free future.” In June, Philip Morris moved its headquarters to Connecticut, where it said “a valuable mix of technological know-how, future-forward thinking, and an open-minded approach to problem-solving” would help it move toward smoke-free products.
The company recently announced it will acquire pharmaceutical company Vectura Group, which makes inhalers, as well as Fertin Pharma, a nicotine gum maker. Critics say the company is positioning itself as anti-smoking but still profiting from cigarettes and other harmful products.
Most heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, an addictive chemical. And tobacco in any form is not without risks. According to the World Health Organization's view on tobacco, it is “one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.” Tobacco kills up to half of its users, and when including secondhand smoke kills more than 8 million people per year. “All forms of tobacco are harmful, and there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco,” the organization says.
Philip Morris was started in 1846 in London, and the Marlboro brand was registered in 1908, in the U.S. It was known as “America’s luxury cigarette” and later marketed as a cigarette for women. Philip Morris International is not affiliated with Philip Morris USA. It is unclear when, if ever, Philip Morris plans to stop selling cigarettes in the U.S.
Rebecca Holland is a travel and food writer based in Chicago.
Learn how to apply eye cream to get the most from your routine
Wondering how to apply eye cream for best results? Check out this guide
By Ayesha Muttucumaru •
The best winter coats for women will see you through a cold spell in style
Our round-up of the best winter coats has got all styles covered, from timeless trench coats to cosy puffers
By Jess Beech •
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle listed as Time's Most Influential People 2021
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are joined on the coveted list by people including Simone Biles and Shonda Rhimes
By Rylee Johnston •
Britney Spears worries fans as she takes social media break soon after announcing engagement
Britney Spears fans are concerned as the star has deactivated her Instagram days after announcing her engagement
By Laura Harman •
Lilibet's christening plans causing 'mayhem' for the Queen, says royal expert
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly hoping to christen their daughter, Lilibet 'Lili' Diana, at Windsor Castle
By Emma Dooney •
Kate Middleton stuns in Reiss blazer at event close to Prince William's heart—her first appearance in over 2 months
Kate Middleton's first public appearance in months sees the royal in an incredibly chic and versatile must have blazer
By Aoife Hanna •
The best candle advent calendars 2021: new launches by Yankee Candle, Jo Malone, and more
Discover the best candle advent calendars for 2021 - what's currently on the shelves versus what's coming soon
By Dominique McIntee •
Shamima Begum pleads for forgiveness after joining ISIS—'I did not know it was a death cult'
Shamima Begum has apologized to the British public for joining ISIS as a teenager
By Emma Dooney •
Where does Princess Beatrice live with her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi?
Princess Beatrice and her husband Edo are due to welcome their first baby in autumn 2021—so where will the nursery be?
By Amy Hunt •
Maid Netflix—all you need to know about the Stephanie Land drama starring Andie MacDowell and her real-life daughter
The new Maid Netflix drama is packed with emotion, determination and fresh starts...
By Emma Shacklock •