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The Drum

Cigarette maker Philip Morris resolves to ‘give up cigarettes’ with new ads and website

Philip Morris takes out full page advert to say it is 'giving up cigarettes'

Philip Morris Limited (PML), one of the world’s biggest cigarette companies, is making a New Year’s Resolution to give up cigarettes in 2018, according to its newest campaign.

The company has launched a new advertisement announcing its resolution to try to “give up cigarettes” and it encourages adult smokers to visit a new website – – that contains information on quitting and on switching.

The advertisement, ‘Our New Year’s Resolution: we’re trying to give up cigarettes’, will run today (2 January) in a number of UK newspapers, including The Times, The Sun and Daily Mirror.

In addition, the advertisement makes a number of specific commitments for the UK for 2018, like the launch of the website, an offer to support local authority cessation services where smoking rates are highest, seek government approval to insert, directly into our cigarette packs, information on quitting and on switching, and expanding the availability of alternative products to help people get off cigarettes in the UK.

The advertisement also outlines how the business has spent more than £2.5bn on research, product and commercial development over the past decade to develop smoke free alternatives, but which contain nicotine, like vaping.

Underpinning PML’s commitment, Peter Nixon, managing director of PML, has written to the Prime Minister outlining how the company believes they can play a part in helping Britain to go smoke free.

Nixon commented: “We believe we have an important role to play in helping the UK become smoke-free. The commitments announced today are practical steps that could accelerate that goal. We recognise that never starting to smoke – or quitting altogether – are always the best option. But for those who continue to smoke, there are more alternatives than ever available in the UK.”

While the UK and Irish affiliate of Philip Morris International is leading this push, the international group is also making the commitment. According to the PMI website, in a section called 'Designing a smoke-free future' the company states: "We understand the millions of men and women who smoke cigarettes. They are looking for less harmful, yet satisfying, alternatives to smoking. We will give them that choice. We have a commitment to our employees and our shareholders. We will fulfill that commitment by pursuing this long-term vision for success. Society expects us to act responsibly. And we are doing just that by designing a smoke-free future.”

While it might seem counterproductive for a cigarette company to essentially ‘give up smoking’, the rise in vaping products and e-cigarettes has opened a viable business option for the company while trying to get people off its highly addictive smoking products.

Advertising tobacco products in print is forbidden in the UK, following the implementation of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 (TAPA), but this advert does not promote tobacco, and therefore is allowed.