When Philip Morris International (PMI) CEO Jacek Olczak told The Mail on Sunday that the UK government should treat cigarettes like petrol cars and ban them in 10 years, many wondered why the world’s biggest tobacco company would self-sabotage itself with such a draconian statement.
However, a few days later, the British American Tobacco (BAT) executive Kingsley Wheaton told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that cannabis and its derivates are part of the company’s future. “I think [CBD vaping] is part of the future, but the present challenge is reduced harm in tobacco and nicotine alternatives, encouraging people to switch,” he said.
Both statements from the top world’s biggest tobacco companies reveal an ongoing business model shift of Big Tobacco. Also, they reveal a reaction to consumer trends.
By taking into consideration the health impact of their products, tobacco companies are trying to show their efforts to get away from traditional tobacco cigarettes. Vapour and heated tobacco products have become a trend in recent years. The use of e-cigarettes among high school students increased from 11.7% to 27.5% between 2017 and 2019. Such increase is driving overall tobacco use among high school students to 31.2%, according to a report by Truth Initiative, a nonprofit tobacco control organization. [Read More @ Forbes]
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