On January 2nd, the maker of brands such as Marlboro released ads in newspapers declaring its New Year's resolution to "give up cigarettes".
It is a strange decision for a cigarette maker, but the company feels that it must do its bit to curb smoking and move to alternate products. In addition to urging the public to stop smoking, Philip Morris has also committed to launching the 'Smoke Free Future' website and campaign to provide smokers with information on quitting and on alternatives to cigarettes. It has also pledged to support local authority cessation services where smoking rates are highest, and is seeking Government approval to insert information on quitting and switching into its cigarette packs.
Will alternate products work? Many smokers have not taken to substitutes in a big way yet. Philip Morris feels it has a much wider range that will attract smokers. The newspaper ads mark the start of a wider campaign, which will run later this year.