In February, tPhilip Morris announced its goal to generate more than 50 percent of total net revenue from smoke-free products by 2025, and a target to generate at least $1 billion in net revenues by 2025 from "Beyond Nicotine" products. (AFP/Getty Images)
Philip Morris International will stop selling Marlboro cigarettes in the UK within the next ten years, Chief Executive Officer Jacek Olczak said.
"I want to allow this company to leave smoking behind," Olczak told The Mail on Sunday.
"I think in the UK, ten years from now maximum, you can completely solve the problem of smoking," he said.
If consumers do not stop smoking, the next best choice is to encourage a switch to less harmful alternatives, Olczak said.
In a separate interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Olczak and Philip Morris Chairman André Calantzopoulos suggested that cigarettes should be banned, They said traditional cigarettes should be treated like petrol cars, which will be banned in the UK from 2030.
"We can see the world without cigarettes. And actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone," the CEO said.
"If you take the current usage or awareness of alternatives and remove this confusion - quite a lot of people actually, still think that alternatives are worse than cigarettes - and you also give them a choice of smoke-free alternatives...with the right regulation and information it can happen 10 years from now in some countries. And you can solve the problem once and forever," he added.
Calantzopoulos said a ban "could be one solution - but this is not enough".
Earlier in July, Philip Morris made a 1.05 billion pounds ($1.44 billion) bid for British pharmaceutical company Vectura, which makes asthma inhalers.
In February, the company announced its goal to generate more than 50 percent of total net revenue from smoke-free products by 2025, and a target to generate at least $1 billion in net revenues by 2025 from "Beyond Nicotine" products.