In the series of marketing strategies on the wrong foot, it is the turn of Philip Morris to shine. Indeed, the brand now encourages adult smokers to quit smoking. Explanations of this rather unexpected announcement.
Towards a “smoke-free future”
Each year, the WHO reports that more than 8 million people worldwide die from tobacco-related illnesses. Tobacco makes you addicted, it’s undeniable. 80% live in a poor or developing country. The organization therefore demonstrates that “tobacco is one of the main causes of death, disease and impoverishment”.
Philip Morris is the first tobacco company to start the ball rolling by advocating a “smoke-free future”, notably through electronic cigarettes and tobacco vaporizers. Philip Morris indicates that this transformation of the tobacco industry is also part of a lasting and profound transformation in favor of the environment. In fact, the company plans to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Like an anti-tobacco association slogan, the president therefore evokes a “smoke-free future”, but with alternatives considered healthier and innovative. Philip Morris claims to cover 6 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Allowing teens to start smoking
Behind this surprising message, however, Philip Morris is addressing a wider audience, since they are younger! Indeed, the tobacco company offers products directly to adolescents and does not hide it. To do this, Philip Morris even tied a partnership with a 21-year-old influencer for the promotion of his IQOS electronic cigarettes, before being pinned and then stopped.
On the one hand, Philip Morris invites adult smokers to stop their tobacco consumption in favor of e-cigarettes and on the other, the company encourages young people (smokers or not) to discover the pleasures of vaping. A position that is not unanimous. As a reminder, according to the company’s press release, the products “are not without risk”, but “are a better choice than to continue to smoke”.