Philip Morris International, the world’s largest tobacco company, is planning to ban its products in the United Kingdom a decade from now. The announcement came following a decline in cigarette smoking in Britain and the UK government’s ambition to create a smoke-free future. On July 25, 2021, CEO Jacek Olczak told the Sunday Telegraph that the UK government should treat cigarettes like petrol cars, the sale of which is set to be banned from 2030. According to the company, they “can see a world without cigarettes” and “The sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone.”

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use causes more than 8 million deaths per year. Philipp Morris International has invested $8 billion for the development of cigarette alternatives. According to the vice president of strategic and scientific communications Moira Gilchrist, “Quitting is the best choice to make, but for those who can’t, science and technology have allowed companies like ours to develop better alternatives to continued smoking.” In an effort to reinforce the company’s “Beyond Nicotine” strategy, it struck a £1bn deal to purchase UK asthma inhaler maker Vectura. On July 26, 2021, anti-tobacco activists expressed their doubts over the company’s plans. “Philip Morris has declared that it wants to see the end of smoking for years now, but how can its aspiration be taken seriously when it sells more than one in ten cigarettes smoked globally?” bared Deborah Arnott, the CEO of UK public health charity Action on Smoking and Health. In 2020, the UK government has published “Roadmap to a Smokefree 2030,” which contains a plan to urge tobacco manufacturers to fund support for smokers to quit.