"Philip Morris can see a world without cigarettes - the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone" - Jacek Olczak, CEO of Philip Morris International
Jacek Olczak, the CEO of Philip Morris International announced to Britain’s Mail that ‘the tobacco company foresaw an end to its sales of traditional cigarettes in Britain within 10 years.
This looks like a major step towards the fight against smoking and making England a smoke free country. There has been many campaigns against the tobacco industry to get cigarettes banned in the United Kingdom and this sounds like some very promising news but why is a Tobacco Company wanting to stop selling cigarettes?
In February this year Philip Morris International (PMI) held an investor day and within their presentation they advised they wanted half their turnover to come from non-smoking products as they plan to move towards a “healthcare and wellness company” with a new mission to “unsmoke the world” by phasing out cigarettes.
Jacek Olczak claims that cigarettes should be treated like petrol cars, Under current plans by the Government, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030, though we will have to wait and see if they stick to this promise.
Will the UK ban smoking?
There has been a lot of confusion in the United Kingdom with the Government's stance on cigarettes, vaping E Liquids has proven to be a very successful smoking cessation but there has been a lot of scare tactics from the media about how safe vaping is. This is why we wrote some articles on 'Is Vaping Safe' and 'Vaping Vs Smoking'. Within these articles you can see the benefits of vaping and the damage that smoking can do to our health.
The Tobacco Products Directive regulations came into play for EU Member States on 20 May 2016 and this did feel like this was a personal attack to all ex vapers by limiting what people could buy by restricting products sizes and nicotine strengths. Though there have been changes to how Tobacco products such as rolling Tobacco, cigarettes and cigars are sold and marketed, you may or not be aware that these products are now sold in plain brown packaging and always with large warning labels clearly visible. There was also the Menthol ban that came into play in May 2020, though this clearly isn't enough to get people away from smoking.
If the Government took action and committed to banning smoking and stopped making people think that alternatives to smoking such as vaping is worse than cigarettes, we would be living in a much healthier world. J. Olczak has called on the UK Government to ban cigarettes within a decade, this would obviously mean banning their own cigarettes. So what are their plans?
Philip Morris International have already started to make a move from cigarettes and have been pushing their tobacco heating system also known as THS, the IQOS is not a vape which uses E Liquids, instead it heats tobacco instead of burning it. PMI states on their website; ''Heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes (also known as vapes, and e-vapor products) are two smoke-free alternatives which – when scientifically substantiated and regulated – share one crucial purpose. They can provide a better alternative to cigarettes for adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking.''
What is heated Tobacco?
Tobacco heating systems (THS) work completely different to smoking and have some similarities with vaping devices but without the E Liquid. Traditional cigarettes burn at temperatures in excess of 600°C, this results in generating smoke that contains extremely high levels of harmful chemicals which we have previously spoken about.
The THS does still use real tobacco but it heats it rather than burning it, this heats the tobacco at a much lower level of 350 °C, without combustion, fire, ash, or smoke. THS is not risk-free and still delivers nicotine, which is addictive and the levels of harmful chemicals are significantly reduced compared to smoking but they are still there.
What’s the difference between Tobacco Heated Systems and Vaping?
Both Heated Tobacco products and e cigarettes can contain nicotine but many E Liquids for vaping do come nicotine free, this is mostly used among people who are taking the last step to come away from nicotine but still want to continue the habit of vaping before taking the final leap. You should note that nicotine is addictive and is not risk-free.
All Heated Tobacco products do contain nicotine though as it heats Real tobacco. The Heated tobacco devices heat real tobacco but within a specific temperature range, whereas e-cigarettes vaporizes E Liquids which will often contain nicotine, natural and artificial flavourings.
Anti-smoking Campaigners criticism
Anti-smoking campaigners have been arguing that Tobacco companies are trying to be part of the solution to a smoke free world but they are questioning why they are continually selling and promoting their lethal cigarettes. If they were that concerned about the health risks of smoking, why would they not stop selling them?
Health charity Ash said it was hard to take such claims seriously from the firm responsible for selling over a tenth of cigarettes globally. It's still a fact that smoking and also second-hand smoking kills roughly 8 million people a year, this is stated by the World Health Organization.
We do hope that these latest statements from Philip Morris International are true and honest, we are very passionate about making the UK a smoke free place. This could lead to other Tobacco firms following in their steps and hopefully this will also push the UK Government to keep their promises also.