Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris International decides to quit selling cigarettes

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KARACHI: Global tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) announced its new year’s resolution to give up cigarette.

In an unusual move, the tobacco company placed full-page adverts in several United Kingdom (UK) newspapers claiming that the firm’s ‘New Year’s resolution’ for 2018 is to ‘stop selling cigarette’.

“Philip Morris is known for cigarettes. Every year, many smokers give them up. Now it’s our turn,” reads the advert.

“Our ambition is to stop selling cigarettes. It won’t be easy. But we are determined to turn our vision into reality. There are 7.6 million adults in the UK who smoke. The best action they can take is to quit smoking,” the advert further stated.

PMI said that it aims to replace cigarettes with alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco which it believes are ‘a better choice’.

The company plans to roll out cigarette alternatives in countries all around the world. The firm also announced the creation of a new website — www.smokefreefuture.co.uk — that contains information on quitting cigarettes and switching to alternatives.

In addition to the new products, PMI said that it plans to offer support to local stop-smoking services where smoking rates are the highest.

The tobacco company also informed that it will seek UK government approval to include information about quitting smoking on cigarette packs.

“We believe we have an important role to play in helping the UK become smoke-free. The commitments announced today are practical steps that could accelerate that goal. We recognise that never starting to smoke — or quitting altogether — are always the best option. But for those who continue to smoke, there are more alternatives than ever available in the UK,” said PMI Managing Director Peter Nixon.

Till date, the firm has invested £2.5 billion into the research and development of smoke-free products.