Philip Morris International resolves to quit smoking

Posted at 5:49 AM, Jan 05, 2018

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes in the U.K. wants to give up smoking in the new year.

Philip Morris International on Tuesday launched a new advertising campaign that encourages smokers to kick the habit. The ads ran in British newspapers with the tagline: “Our New Year’s Resolution: we’re trying to give up cigarettes.”

The ads are the latest step in the company’s efforts to develop “smoke free alternatives.”

“Providing less harmful alternatives to smokers who would otherwise not quit is a common-sense approach to public health, embraced by a growing number of experts and health authorities worldwide,” the company said in a statement to CNNMoney. “Today, science and technology allow us to provide smokers with better alternatives to cigarettes.”

The company cited smoke-free products like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products as alternatives. It also said it has spent more than £2.5 billion, or about $3.4 billion, on “research, product and commercial development over the past decade to develop smoke free alternatives.”

Alongside the ad campaign, Philip Morris also created a new website called “Smoke-Free Future.” It has information about quitting smoking and using other products.

It also said that it is seeking government approval to insert that kind of information “directly into our cigarette packs.”

Philip Morris International does not sell any products in the U.S. market. Marlboro cigarettes stateside are instead made by Philip Morris USA, a branch of Altria, which split from Philip Morris International in 2008.

England has been working toward a “smoke-free generation.” In July, the government published what it called a “Tobacco Control Plan” that aimed to reduce the number of people who smoke, among other goals.