Philip Morris Calls for UK Cigarette Ban (So Smokers Will Buy Its E-Cigarettes Instead) - Gizmodo
Jul 26, 2021 1 min, 7 secs

As flagged by Business Insider, PMI CEO Jacek Olczak told the Mail on Sunday that the company plans to “leave smoking behind,” adding that “ten years from now maximum, you can completely solve the problem of smoking.” Olczak, as well as PMI chairman André Calantzopoulos, told the Telegraph that PMI now supports an outright ban as part of the UK government’s plan to eliminate tobacco smoking by the year 2030.

Calantzopoulos claimed to the Telegraph that many smokers believe cigarette alternatives are less dangerous than smoking and that the UK government should educate smokers to make “a choice of smoke-free alternatives” (which it is already doing, for the record).

Since then, it has pivoted to claiming the future of tobacco is in alternatives to cigarettes, such as its IQOS product, which heats a plug of tobacco to release fumes without actually burning it.

While the IQOS device may emit fewer toxic chemicals compared to cigarettes, the Atlantic reported in 2019 that many health experts are skeptical that “heat-not-burn” products are actually safer than traditional smoking.

Chris Bostic, deputy director of public policy at Action on Smoking and Health, told the Atlantic those studies could be dismissed entirely and PMI’s claims to be fighting for a smoke-free future is “an absurd PR stunt.” (At that time, in 2019, PMI was not advocating for a ban on cigarettes.).

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