Critics deride Phillip Morris’ anti-smoking campaign as ‘hypocrisy’

The tobacco behemoth is now pushing vapes and promoting ads that ask smokers to give up cigarettes. Health advocates are decrying the move as a disingenuous PR stunt.

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There are some gaps no amount of PR—or even rebranding—can bridge.

Phillip Morris International, the U.S. parent company of such cigarette brands as Marlboro, is looking to switch its business model to focus on vaping. The company recently launched “Hold my light,” a campaign that calls on smokers to quit using cigarettes.

The move is part of the company’s attempt to reinvent itself as regulators crack down on the sale and use of tobacco products.

CNN wrote:

The company has pivoted towards marketing smoking alternatives in recent years, with the company’s online manifesto saying it is “designing a smoke-free future.”

Mark MacGregor, Corporate Affairs Director UK and Ireland at Philip Morris International, told CNN the company was “surprised” at the criticism of its campaign. MacGregor said: “This campaign is designed to stop people smoking and to give up cigarettes as fast as possible.

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