Philip Morris stops selling cigarettes in England

Philip Morris will stop selling cigarettes in the UK within 10 years. Meanwhile, the tobacco giant, which is behind Marlboro, is proposing a total ban on smoking tobacco.
"The technology makes it possible to replace cigarettes with less harmful alternatives," says Moira Gilchrist, Head of Strategic and Technical Information at the European Commission. PMI to CNN.

According to cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris International (PMI), governments should treat cigarettes and smoking tobacco in the same way as petrol and cars. New sales of petrol-powered cars will be planned to be banned from 2030 in England. PMI is now proposing a similar ban on cigarettes.

"Under the right conditions, Philip Morris could stop selling cigarettes in the UK within 10 years. Through technological advances and rapid development, we have the opportunity to replace cigarettes with less harmful alternatives for those who still want to smoke or are unable to quit," said Moira Gilchrist, Head of Strategic and Technical Information at Philip Morris. Philip Morris International to CNN.

Smoking is decreasing - vejping is increasing

The fact that Philip Morris is actively urging British politicians to ban cigarettes is not entirely unexpected. For the past 10 years, the British authorities have worked more actively to reduce smoking in the country. Increased smoking bans, requirements for plain packaging, bans on marketing and advertising, and stop smoking campaigns has been the focus of efforts. Smoking rates are declining as smokers switch to less harmful nicotine products, according to British studies. 

Highly regulated - effective for smoking cessation

E-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products are heavily regulated, but are also used as a tool to achieve the goal of a smoke-free society. United Kingdom 2030. According to British studies, e-cigarettes are the most popular way to quit smoking among English smokers. At the same time, the method is twice as effective compared to nicotine medicinesaccording to the Cochrane Library.

Tobacco companies and e-cigarettes

And this is something tobacco companies like Philip Morris have recognised in recent years. But competition is fierce. The e-cigarette market is currently dominated by smaller independent companies with no direct links to the tobacco industry. PMI's main competitor, British American Tobacco, is investing in both e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches, although sales are still low. so far has not met expectations.

Going for heat-not-burn

At the same time, PMI has invested in a heat-not-burn system, IQOS. variant of an electronic cigarette based on tobacco instead of e-liquid. IQOS has not yet achieved the same level of success as other vejp products in the UK. But a ban on cigarettes would very likely change that.

"Our cigarettes will disappear and the best thing smokers can do is quit smoking. For those who can't or don't want to, the next best thing is to switch to less harmful and better alternatives," said PMI CEO Jacek Olczak in a statement. interview with The Mail. 

Changing the industry from the ground up

Phillip Morris International, which is behind one of the world's most famous cigarette brands, Marlboro, is aiming for half of its revenue to come from smoke-free products within just four years. Meanwhile, Jacek Olczak and PMI want to transform the entire tobacco industry from the ground up.

"I want to make PMI a smoke-free company. But it's not just about us. We want to work together with authorities, legislators, non-profit organisations and other tobacco companies to create a smoke-free society - within a reasonable timeframe," says Jacek Olczak.

Criticised by anti-smoking organisations

Despite PMI's ambition to change Britain's smoking habits, the multinational company has been criticised, not least by the anti-smoking organisation ASH, Action on Smoking and Health. Among other things, ASH advocates e-cigarettes as a good substitute for cigarettes. But this does not mean that PMI is a good role model, according to ASH.

"PMI has been talking about phasing out cigarette smoking for a long time now. But how can we take them seriously when the company is responsible for one in ten cigarettes sold worldwide?" Deborah Arnott, President of ASH told BBC

Smoking kills more people than Covid-19

Smoking-related harm still costs the UK health service the equivalent of £20 billion a year. According to ASH, as many people died from smoking as from COVID-19 in 2020. And according to Debora Arnott, PMI, as well as other tobacco companies, should be directly involved in paying for the projects and campaigns to reduce smoking. smoking cessation programme launched by the UK authorities. 

"They should be required to help financially. Nice words are unfortunately not enough," says Deborah Arnott.

Facts: Heat-Not-Burn

  • PMI's vejp product IQOS, but also BAT's GLO, is a combination of a cigarette (tobacco) and an e-cigarette (heating).
  • In some countries, such as Japan, IQOS is a success story, with over a quarter of PMI's customers preferring IQOS to traditional cigarettes. In the rest of the world, such as Europe, IQOS is less popular, although it is available in most EU countries.
  • In Sweden, some major chains such as Pressbyrån sell IQOS. The heat-not-burn system is also available in some convenience stores.

Few independent studies on IQOS

  • Heat-not-burn (HNB) products have been on the market since 2014. The technology is based on the heating of tobacco: a sleeve containing a tobacco blend is heated in the same way that e-liquid is heated in an e-cigarette. This produces a vapour at a lower temperature and without combustion.
  • The health risks of HNB products are likely to be less than those of tobacco smoking. However, the UK Public Health Agency, a world leader in tobacco harm reduction, recognises that the evidence base for assessing the health risks of HNB is currently thin.
    "HNB products are likely to emit fewer toxic chemicals than cigarettes, but more harmful substances than regular e-cigarettes," writes the UK's Department of Health in its annual report on risks of e-cigarettes and related products, 2018

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1 Comment on “Philip Morris slutar sälja cigaretter i England

  1. What is your reaction to this Stefan?
    When this goes against the grain in the US and the EU etc. Why are the reactions not greater in the rest of the world. The profit of the capital will perhaps not be as large. Or not at all because people are thinking more and more about health. The tobacco industry and states are squeezing out the last drops from the golden age of Big Smokers etc. What do you think will be the next step?

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