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Philip Morris International: a New Year’s resolution
  1. Crawford Moodie1,
  2. David Hammond2,
  3. Linda Bauld1
  1. 1Centre for Tobacco Control Research, Institute for Social Marketing, School of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  2. 2School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Crawford Moodie, Centre for Tobacco Control Research, Institute for Social Marketing, School of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling, Stirlingshire, FK9 4LA, UK; c.s.moodie{at}stir.ac.uk

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In January 2018, Philip Morris International (PMI) placed ads in UK newspapers explaining that their New Year’s resolution was ‘to stop selling cigarettes in the UK’ (see figure 1).1 To help achieve this goal, the PMI ads refer to four commitments for 2018:

Figure 1

Philip Morris International ads in the UK.

  1. Launch a website and campaign to provide smokers with information on quitting and on alternatives to cigarettes

  2. Offer to support Local Authority cessation services where smoking rates are highest

  3. Seek Government approval to insert, directly into our cigarette packs, information on quitting and on switching

  4. Expand the availability of new, alternative products in the UK.

While the second commitment is contrary to Article 5.3 obligations of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC),2 and the third prohibited by the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015,3 the latter, at least, could be amended by the UK government. The relevant text, ‘No insert or additional material may be attached to or included with the packaging of a unit packet or container packet of cigarettes’, could be revised with the addition of ‘unless specified by Government (eg, to educate …

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