NEW YORK -- In advertisements placed in several U.K. newspapers and on a company website, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes continues to promote its intention to go smoke-free, “replacing cigarettes with a portfolio of revolutionary products.”
Akin to a New Year’s resolution, New York-based Philip Morris International (PMI) said that at an unspecified future date, the company intends to stop selling cigarettes in Britain, according to a CBS News report. The ads, which appeared in the United Kingdom in the first week of January, said the goal will not be easy to meet and will include developing a website for smokers wanting to quit and support for antismoking efforts.
In the past, PMI officials have spoken about the company’s smoke-free future and have submitted applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Silver Spring, Md., to sell its heat-not-burn device called iQOS in the United States.
“We believe we have an important role to play in helping the U.K. become smoke-free,” wrote Peter Nixon, managing director of Philip Morris in the United Kingdom, in a letter to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. “The commitments announced today are practical steps that could accelerate that goal. We recognize that never starting to smoke—or quitting altogether—are always the best option.”
Critics of the tobacco industry aren’t impressed, CBS reported. “Make no mistake, Philip Morris is still very much in the tobacco and cigarette business, as well as the cigar and the smokeless [tobacco] business,” said Erika Sward, assistant vice president for national advocacy at the American Lung Association, Washington, D.C.