Phillip Morris is the international Tobacco giant company, but their profile may be changing in 2018. The company recently took out a full page ad in numerous British publications stating that 2018 is the year to give up cigarettes. While the company is stating that they are going to start pushing giving up smoking and moving to e-cigarettes, anti-smoking advocates are calling the whole thing a simple P.R. stunt.
While it is still uncertain if the anti-smoking advocates are right or if Phillip Morris is really pushing themselves in a new direction, the company put out a statement that said their ambition is to stop selling cigarettes in the United Kingdome. They hope to replace cigarettes with alternative products like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco. While it is obviously better for smokers to just quit, the move to e-cigarettes and heated tobacco would be a better option for the millions of smokers in the United Kingdom.
Anti-smoking advocates are viewing the ads by Phillip Morris as nothing but a stunt to gain customers. The World Health Organization(WHO) has also stated that they will, in no way, engage with Phillip Morris efforts to try to promote alternative smoking methods. WHO went on to discuss that they are firm believers that Phillip Morris has worked hard to mislead the public and their customers about the dangers of smoking, which includes their light and mild tobacco products that they sell as an alternative to quitting smoking all together. WHO also claimed that Phillip Morris misleads consumers by suggesting that some tobacco products are less harmful than others when the company knows full well that they are all dangerous. E-cigarettes are known to possibly increase harm to brain development and respiratory health, and have even been banned in public places in some states in the United States.
For now, Phillip Morris stands by their original statement that they are simply looking to change their angle and to help their customers move to a product they consider less dangerous. It is too soon to tell what effect the ad has had on consumers, but it will be interesting to see which direction smokers in the United Kingdom decide to go. For more information on this, head to the Huffington Post.