Cancer charity criticises tobacco giant over new anti-smoking advert

October 23rd, 2018
Cancer charity criticises tobacco giant over new anti-smoking advert

A cancer charity has accused tobacco giant, Philip Morris, of hypocrisy after it launched an anti-smoking advert. Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro, has recently approved adverts that encourage smokers to quit, but the move has been called out by Cancer Research UK. The charity claims that the tobacco magnate is merely trying to promote alternative products to cigarettes, including heated tobacco.

In a statement, representatives from Philip Morris said that the new advert, which discourages the use of cigarettes, is part of a move to achieve the goal of stopping selling cigarettes, but charity executives believe it is nothing more than a means of diverting attention to other products sold under the Morris name.

George Butterworth, tobacco policy manager at Cancer Research UK, suggested that the best way to encourage people to stop smoking was to cease production of cigarettes. Smoking is the most common cause of preventable cancer deaths.

The new Philip Morris campaign has also attracted negative comments from Ash, Action on Smoking and Health. The ‘Hold My Light’ campaign, which featured in a 4-page spread in the Daily Mirror newspaper, has been described as a means of getting around UK advertising rules. Under new guidelines, which were published last year, it’s a lot more difficult to promote tobacco products, and the charity has suggested that the tobacco company is merely looking for ways to sell more without breaking the rules.

Deborah Arnott, Ash’s chief executive, said that Philip Morris is actively promoting the Marlboro brand all over the world in countries where advertising is legal, but the UK is different due to more stringent regulations. To get around tighter restrictions, the firm is promoting the Philip Morris name, which is “inextricably linked” to the Marlboro brand.

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