July 27, 2021
Jacek Olczak, the CEO of Philip Morris International—which makes and markets the top-selling brand of cigarettes, Marlboro, outside the United States—says his company will stop selling cigarettes in the United Kingdom within a decade.
Olczak also called on the UK government to outlaw cigarettes within a decade, comparing them to gas-powered cars, which are set to be barred from being sold in the country starting in 2030, according to The Telegraph.
“We can see the world without cigarettes,” he said. “And actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone. With the right regulation and information it can happen ten years from now in some countries. And you can solve the problem once and forever.”
Philip Morris International is separate from Philip Morris USA, which makes Marlboro cigarettes in the United States and is a division of the American tobacco corporation Altria. It split from Philip Morris USA in 2008 and recently announced plans to transform into a smoke-free company, as well as its intention to buy the British pharmaceutical company Vectura Group, which makes asthma inhalers.
Anti-smoking groups in the UK criticized that sale, accusing tobacco companies of trying to position themselves as anti-smoking while still selling tobacco products, according to The Guardian.
Smoking kills more than 8 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization.
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