HomeEconomyMarlboro CEO wants you to Quit Smoking

Marlboro CEO wants you to Quit Smoking

The CEO of Philip Morris International, the tobacco giant that manufactures and sells Marlboro cigarettes outside of the United States, revealed in an interview over the weekend that the company plans to stop selling cigarettes in the UK within the next ten years.

Philip Morris International is not linked with Philip Morris USA, which sells Marlboro cigarettes in the United States, where the brand outsells the next seven most popular brands combined.

Source –Business Insider

While this may appear to be a self-destructive business strategy at first glance, it is not. By converting to alternatives, the corporation is responding to a consumer movement away from tobacco goods and preparing for cigarette bans. 

By 2030, the UK government wants the country to be smoke-free. In May, Olczak was named CEO of the company, and he wants to oversee the company’s “smoke-free” transformation. The company’s new aim, he said, is to find and deliver “less dangerous alternatives to cigarettes” to the millions of individuals who would otherwise continue to smoke.

Source – gov.uk

PMI’s “smoke-free goods” accounted for roughly 30% of its sales in the second quarter, according to a representative for the company. It intends to increase this to 50% of revenues by 2025. Various varieties of e-cigarettes, which do not burn tobacco, are among these goods. 

They either don’t use tobacco or heat it to make nicotine vapour. While these products aren’t without risk, UK health officials believe they are a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco for people who already smoke because they contain far fewer potentially toxic substances.

The worldwide health issues caused by smoking highly addictive tobacco have prompted a backlash against cigarettes during the last few years. According to the World Health Organization, the tobacco epidemic is one of the world’s most serious public health issues which is killing more than 8 million people each year, with 7 million deaths directly attributable to tobacco use. 

Non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are responsible for more than 1 million fatalities. Approximately 14% of the population of the United Kingdom The adult population is a smoker. According to the analysis, the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods will not be smoke-free until 2045, based on present trends. 

This isn’t the first time Philip Morris International has stated its desire to no longer sell cigarettes. It published advertising in national newspapers in the UK in 2018 declaring that its ambition is to quit selling cigarettes in the UK, which critics called a PR stunt at the time. In 2018, British non-profit Cancer Research told Reuters that “the greatest way Philip Morris might assist people stop smoking is to cease making cigarettes.”

Source – Financial TImes

Cigarette smoking is becoming less popular in many wealthy countries. Older smokers are quitting for good, and younger smokers are becoming less enamoured with the habit. Then there’s the long-term pressure from non-governmental organisations, public health advocacy groups, and even governments, all of whom have banded together for years to punish Big Tobacco. 

Some states in the United States have even filed billion-dollar lawsuits against cigarette firms. To stay afloat, the business has seen a lot of bankruptcies, and larger players have consolidated quickly to stay afloat.

Cigarette manufacturers have been raising prices for some time to maintain their cash flow. However, cigarette firms are finding it difficult to compete due to legislative changes, increasing taxes, and a general anti-smoking sentiment. Philip Morris, on the other hand, has already worked it out. 

It is, in fact, the only reason they desire to leave for brighter pastures. Greener pastures, such as the e-cigarette business, are available. Since 2008, the corporation has spent more than $8 billion on research and development of “smoke-free goods” – electronic alternatives that heat tobacco rather than burn it.

Many people believe that nicotine in cigarettes causes illness and mortality, however this is not the case, according to André Calantzopoulos, the former CEO of Philip Morris International. Although nicotine is addictive, it is not the main cause of sickness. That has been clarified by the FDA.

 Combustion is the issue. When combustion is eliminated, the amount of hazardous chemicals released by the product is greatly reduced when compared to cigarette smoke. Of course, the greatest thing a smoker can do is quit using nicotine completely. However, because a billion people continue to smoke, the next best thing you can do is persuade them to change their habits by developing goods that they can use instead. And that is precisely what the firm is working on.

So, when they claim they want people to quit smoking, what they really mean is that they want people to switch from traditional cigarettes to heated tobacco products, which they believe are healthier options.

Anti-smoking activists, on the other hand, aren’t buying it. To begin with, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the negative health impacts of e-cigarettes. Sure, it might be a better option than the standard alternatives. But how much better can it get? That is still a contentious issue. It’s also risky to put faith in companies like Philip Morris to keep their promises. 

After all, they are the biggest tobacco company in the world. If they witness favourable changes in smoking patterns and regulatory action, they will most likely resume selling cigarettes. However, current evidence suggests that this isn’t the case.

Philip Morris International used to make all its money from regular cigarettes. That was around six years ago. Sales of smoke-free products now account for roughly 30% of the company’s net sales. By 2025, the corporation intends to increase the percentage of smoke-free products to 50%. And, to some extent, their new plan appears to be succeeding. 

Since the introduction of smoke-free products in Japan, cigarette sales have fallen five times quicker during a four-year period. And now, according to the business, regular cigarettes may be phased out of some industrialised countries within the next decade or two.

Despite its vow, Philip Morris International is not completely abandoning products aimed at smokers. It’s concentrating on tobacco heating devices, such as electronic cigarettes, which still produce a nicotine-containing tobacco vapour, according to the business.

Philip Morris recently announced the acquisition of Vectura Group, a British pharmaceuticals firm that makes inhalers, as well as Fertin Pharma, a nicotine gum manufacturer based in Denmark. The purchase of Vectura sparked criticism from those who objected to a tobacco corporation positioning itself as anti-smoking while yet generating money from cigarettes.

 

Written by – Nikki Shah

Edited by – Riya shah

The post Marlboro CEO wants you to Quit Smoking appeared first on The Economic Transcript.

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