Tobacco giant Philip Morris International is joining in on the “New Year, New Me” idea by announcing it wants to give up smoking in the New Year.
The maker of such brands Marlboro, L&M and Parliament took out full-page ads in several UK newspapers that said its 2018 ambition is to build a smoke-free future and eventually stop selling cigarettes, USA Today reported.
“Philip Morris is known for cigarettes. Every year, many smokers give them up. Now it’s our turn,” according to the blue and white ad, which was published in Business Insider.
“Our ambition is to stop selling cigarettes in the UK. It won’t be easy. But we are determined to turn our vision into reality.”
But the company isn’t giving up on its two biggest cash cows, nicotine and tobacco. It just wants to swap out smokes with “healthier” alternatives like electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
PMI made a series of commitments for 2018 to achieve its goal, including launching a website and campaign to give smokers information on quitting and smoke-free alternatives, offering support to locales with high smoking rates and seeking government approval to insert information on quitting and switching directly into their cigarette packs.
Despite what appears to be an honest attempt at making the UK healthier, the World Health Organization has called the company’s bluff and has refused in the past to partner with PMI’s “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.”
“The tobacco industry and its front groups have misled the public about the risks associated with other tobacco products,” WHO said in a September 2017 statement, according to USA Today.
“Such misleading conduct continues today with companies, including PMI, marketing tobacco products in ways that misleadingly suggest that some tobacco products are less harmful than others.”