Hearing a company describe their ambitious plans of not selling their core product in one of the most populous countries in the world sounds ludicrous. But this is big tobacco we are talking about, so of course there is some hidden agenda to it.
Phillip Morris made headlines Monday by saying they want to cease the sale of cigs in the UK pithing the decade, and they took it a step further by calling on the government there to ban the sale of tobacco products.
Why? Well, the company wants to get away from cigarette sales, and into selling some forms of lower-risk alternative.
They are essentially being forced to, since many investors have already gotten rid of tobacco from their portfolios, and data shows that smoking kills more than 8 million people every year. By comparison, COVID reportedly killed 4.1 million in the past year and a half.
The world is coming around to the fact that smoking is a great way to shorten your life, so the big tobacco companies are figuring out ways to stay relevant and survive in a world that doesn’t want their product as much as they did before.
Which is why Phillip Morris CEO Jack Olczak literally said she can see a world without cigarettes.
“The sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone, With the right measures in place, [Philip Morris] can stop selling cigarettes in the UK in 10 years’ time.”
Let’s just say not everyone buys into Phillip Morris’ about face on cigarette sales. Deborah Arnott, the CEO of public health charity Action on Smoking said this after hearing the news.
“Philip Morris has claimed that it wants to see the end of smoking for years now, but how can such claims be taken seriously from a company which sells more than one in ten cigarettes smoked worldwide?”