It’s official, Marlboro has announced they will stop making cigarettes! Marlboro Cigarettes, owned by the world’s biggest cigarette company, Philip Morris International, announced they are moving toward smokeless alternatives and smoke-free products, such as e-cigarettes and safer tobacco products.
Back in December, it was reported that Philips Morris invested a hefty amount in a Cannabis company. Altria, which was founded by PMI, bought a 45% stake for $1.8 billion in a Canadian company called Cronos Group. The deal places them at 55% ownership within 5 years, so it’s safe to say smokeless tobacco isn’t the companies only direction.
The company will now focus on the IQOS. A device which heats tobacco instead of burning it. The product has the potential to reduce “the number of noxious chemicals” found in cigarette smoke by 95 percent. CEO of Phillip Morris International, Andre Calantzopulous, spoke about his decision, stating, “At the end of the day, the ambition we have is to replace cigarettes as soon as possible, with better alternatives for the people who continue smoking.”
The company is looking to move away from cigarettes, as the number of smokers continues to decline year by year. Now, less than 15 percent of the population are smokers compared to 21 percent a decade ago.
Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, tobacco use causes nearly six million deaths globally. In the United States, there are 480,000 deaths due to tobacco use, which equates to nearly 1,300 deaths every day. With so much public awareness of the negative impact and effects of smoking, this can surely be a good thing for smokers who are trying to quit and lessen the impact of their health. So maybe, just maybe…this might be a good thing? Is it the beginning of a smoke-free future?