The Marlboro man on the roof of a Philip Morris factory in Berlin
Photo: Wolfram Steinberg / picture alliance / Wolfram Steinberg
The iconic "Marlboro man" has died at least four times of lung diseases, but the circumstances surrounding the death of the four actors have not deterred customers to this day.
The brand of cigarettes survived.
So far, anyway.
At least in Great Britain, their days are numbered: Philip Morris CEO Jacek Olczak told the Mail on Sunday that the Marlboro brand would no longer be sold in the UK in ten years.
The newspaper quotes Olczak as saying, “I want to allow this company to quit smoking.
I think that in the UK the problem of smoking can be solved in ten years or less ”.
When asked whether this would involve his company's stopping sales of conventional cigarettes within the specified period, he said, "Absolutely." The Marlboro brand "will disappear.
The first choice for consumers is to quit smoking.
If they don't, the second best thing to do is to switch to better alternatives. "
Philip Morris International has recently turned over £ 800 million annually with Marlboro in the UK. According to the Financial Times, the former parent company Altria is still the market leader in the USA. Olczak, who has been CEO since this year, is investing heavily in alternative offerings, including the Iqos brand tobacco heaters. It already has 20 million customers worldwide, and it accounts for almost a quarter of global sales.
According to the Financial Times, the announcement for Great Britain also has something to do with changed consumer and investor behavior as well as with legal regulation.
The proportion of smokers in the total population is already comparatively low, and taxes on cigarettes are high.
The British government published a plan in 2019 to make the country "smoke-free" by 2030, but experts doubt that it will succeed.
In Germany, the Bundestag recently decided to increase the tobacco tax from 2022.
An additional tax will then apply to heated tobacco, so that in future it will be taxed like cigarettes.