Last week, Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International (PMI) head occupied headlines in his announcement that the company intends to discontinue the sale of cigarettes in the United Kingdom by 2030, as part of the goals of the government.
“I want to allow this company to leave smoking behind,” shared CEO Jacek Olczak to the U.K. tabloid, The Mail on Sunday. ‘I think in the U.K., 10 years from now maximum, you can completely solve the problem of smoking.”
He seemed to have used a lighter tone as compared to his previous declaration regarding the end of smoking in America.
Philip Morris USA’s parent company, Altria, stands in a little more limited position as compared to PMI.
“At Altria, we’re focused on moving beyond smoking and our 2030 Vision to responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to non-combustible products,” George Parman, company spokesperson, told NBC News through an email. “We have the ability to make significant progress on harm reduction and public health,” Parman said, attributing this to the company’s smoke-free products assortment.
Included in these smoke-free products is the PMI’s IQOS heated tobacco device which was approved by the FDA in early July. In the United States, Altria is the exclusive licensee of the said device. It will be sold by Philip Morris USA in the U.S., making Marlboro cigarettes for the domestic market.
The two companies set a decade goal for their vision. The international tobacco company clearly declared it wants to end smoking within the period while the American tobacco company gives more leeway.
According to experts, the two companies’ vision gap reflects their difference in target markets strategy, as well as their cultural, political, and economic divergence, NBC News reported.
“Smokers in the U.S. may be more resolute in their desire to maintain the ‘freedom’ to smoke, a slightly unique American disposition that is not nearly as strong in other countries,” Center for Tobacco Regulation at the University of Maryland School of Law Director Kathleen Hoke said.