PMI £1bn Fund to Help Smokers Quit Called ¡°Breathtakingly Hypocritical¡±

Big Tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI), is being accused of hypocrisy after talking to UK authorities about setting in place a £1bn tobacco transition fund, which would help smokers switch from cigarettes to safer alternatives such as its own iQOS.

Leaked documents have revealed that the PMI fund would be made available to UK authorities and Public Health England (PHE) with the aim of encouraging smokers to switch to safer alternatives such as PMI¡¯s own ¡°heat not burn¡± smokeless tobacco product, IQOS. The documents show discussions about presenting a smoke-free bill proposing the fund to the House of Commons, which if passed, would result in lifting the current advertising and marketing ban on e-cigarettes.

This is the latest in a series of actions by PMI aimed at gaining credibility and changing the public¡¯s perception from that of being a cancer causing villain, to being part of the solution to combat smoking. Deborah Arnott, chief executive from Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said that the tobacco company¡¯s approach is ¡°breathtakingly hypocritical¡±.

Similarly in 2018, the tobacco company had launched a controversial advertising campaign, consisting of full page ads in leading newspapers claiming they wanted to ¡°give up cigarettes¡±. The ads were met with outrage from anti-tobacco activists, but  the company had gone further saying that it wants to reach this goal by 2030.  Enditem