In January, Philip Morris placed an advertisement in UK newspapers revealing the company’s plans to stop manufacturing cigarettes and turn to electronic cigarettes. Philip Morris is a renowned cigarette manufacturer with popular brands such as Marlboro, L&M, Muratti, and many others.
The move comes in response to anti-smoking activists, politicians, and other health professionals who advocate against smoking and support legislation against it. Smoking is considered harmful because of the health effects associated with it. Philip Morris agrees that e-cigarettes are a safer health option to smoking. The vaping market is growing bigger every day as more smokers are switching to vaping.
Philip Morris recently spent $3.3 billion on research into smoke-free products. The company has pledged to provide comply with authorities on measures meant to assist people seeking to quit smoking. Philip Morris is currently seeking government approval to include information about quitting smoking and switching to e-cigs on its cigarette packaging.
The sudden 380-degree turn by this American tobacco and cigarette manufacturing company comes after allegations in May that Philip Morris failed to disclose its full knowledge about tobacco dependency for many years. Philip Morris’ knowledge about tobacco dependency also implied knowledge of the social and environmental effects of smoking. You can read this article at soupwire.com
In a bid to gain a foothold in the budding vaping industry, Philip Morris recently purchased one of the United Kingdom’s fastest-growing e-cigarette makers, Nicocigs. The company did not reveal the purchase price, but Nicocigs is valued at $350 million and holds 27% of the UK market share.
These moves come as Philip Morris has cut its profit forecast for the sale of tobacco in 2018 by 4% mostly due to poor sales and price cuts in Australia. Andre Calantzopoulos, Philip Morris Chief Executive Officer, has admitted that the advent of electronic cigarettes is an indication that the tobacco industry is at an early stage of transformation.
Philip Morris believes that getting into the vaping industry by purchasing Nicocigs will generating some $700 million of profit with a sales target of 30 billion units. The company also acknowledged that it would incur about $495 million of redundancy cost as it stops its cigarette manufacturing setup in the Netherlands this September.
Philip Morris’ decision to stop selling cigarettes has been met with skepticism by many anti-smoking advocates given that this company is well-known for its opposition to various tobacco control efforts. Philip Morris was against higher tobacco taxes and graphic warnings on cigarette packaging. These policies, according to public health experts, helped to reduce the number of deaths due to smoking.
This is also not the first time that Philip Morris has voiced such an ambition. In September last year, the company pledged to allocate $1 billion to fight against traditional burn-based smoking. Philip Morris’ anti-cigarette announcement goes to show that the demand for e-cigarettes is increasing and the company is attempting to get a piece of the market.
Philip Morris noted that it plans to get into the vaping industry because vaping is a healthier choice than cigarettes, and also because e-cigs will one day completely replace cigarettes.
According to organizations such as the tobacco-free Truth Initiative, Philip Morris has to take two steps to be considered seriously:
- Show support for policies endorsed by the public health community and international public health treaties to reduce cigarette smoking.
- Set an example for others in the tobacco industry by completely stopping cigarette marketing.
Anti-smoking activists insist that Philip Morris’ sudden decision to stop producing cigarettes and switch to vaping cannot be taken as a true commitment until the company stops all its production. Despite the slow sales registered in the tobacco industry and the increasing demand for e-cigs, Philip Morris still makes a lot of money from the sale of its cigarettes.
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