Global cigarette manufacturers, Philip Morris International says it will stop selling Marlboro cigarettes in Britain within the next ten years as it called on the UK government to ban the sale of its tobacco products.
The remarks come amid a broader push by the UK government to reduce the prevalence of smoking as many financial investors have already stripped tobacco from their portfolios, and a growing number of institutions have pledged to implement tobacco-free policies.
Philip Morris International (PM) CEO Jacek Olczak told the Sunday Telegraph that the UK government should treat cigarettes like gasoline-powered cars, which will be banned from selling in the UK from 2030.
In a statement released on Monday, July 26, the company said that it “can see a world without cigarettes.”
“The sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone,” said vice president of strategic and scientific communications Moira Gilchrist.
“Quitting is the best option, but for those who don’t, science and technology has allowed companies like ours to create better alternatives to continued smoking,” Gilchrist said.
“With the right measures in place, [Philip Morris] can stop selling cigarettes in the UK in 10 years’ time,” she added.
Philip Morris International has invested $8 billion and hired dozens of scientists to develop lower-risk alternatives to cigarettes, including its flagship IQOS product, which heats rather than burns tobacco.
The UK government announced its ambition in 2019 to end smoking in England by 2030. Last year it unveiled its “Roadmap to a Smokefree 2030,” which includes a proposal to oblige tobacco manufacturers to fund support for smokers to quit.
According to the World Health Organization, smoking kills more than 8 million people each year.