The top executive for tobacco giant Philip Morris International told The Daily Mail Sunday that the company will stop selling cigarettes in the United Kingdom in the next 10 years.
The company’s CEO Jacek Olczak said the company’s iconic Marlboro brand of cigarettes will be taken off the shelves in the U.K. within the next decade.
“It will disappear. The first choice for consumers is they should quit smoking,” he told the outlet. “But if they don’t, the second best choice is to let them switch to the better alternatives.”
The development is just part of Philip Morris International’s reinvention as it abandons traditional tobacco products.
Olczak became the company’s CEO in May and plans to lead the company’s “smoke-free” transformation. He said the company’s new mission is to find and provide “less harmful alternatives to cigarettes” to the millions of people who would otherwise still smoke.
In May he said, “Our ambition is that more than half of our net revenues will come from smoke-free products in 2025.”
U.K. aims for smoke-free future, too
In this Saturday, March 2, 2013 file photo, a cigarette burns in an ashtray in Hayneville, Ala.
The company’s efforts are part of a much wider societal change in attitudes toward smoking, especially in the U.K. The government recently announced its own goal to make England smoke-free by 2030. The U.K will be considered “smoke-free” when the nation’s smoking rates are less than 5%.