The chief executive of the company that makes Marlboro cigarettes was quoted by Britain's Mail on Sunday as saying that the tobacco company foresaw an end to its sales of traditional cigarettes in Britain within 10 years.
"I want to allow this company to leave smoking behind,'' Jacek Olczak, the CEO of Philip Morris International, was quoted in the paper saying. "I think in the UK, ten years from now maximum, you can completely solve the problem of smoking.'
Asked if that meant Philip Morris would stop selling traditional cigarettes in the UK within that time, he was quoted as saying, "Absolutely.''
Olczak said that the company's Marlboro brand would "disappear'' from Britain.
For years, Philip Morris has said that its future will not include Marlboro cigarettes as it shifts to electronic devices. The company has been vocal in laying out its goal of replacing cigarettes with alternatives such as its IQOS heated tobacco system that heats tobacco without burning it.
The goal of Philip Morris, it has said, is to become a majority smoke-free company in terms of net revenues by the end of 2025.
In July 2019 the British government said it wants to end smoking in England by 2030.
Philip Morris International Inc. was spun off from the tobacco company Altria in 2008 to focus on sales in emerging markets, while Altria operates in the U.S. domestic market and is the parent company of Philip Morris USA.