Tobacco giant Philip Morris says it is giving up cigarettes—and its customers should, too. In full-page ads placed in British newspapers, the Marlboro maker says its New Year's resolution for 2018 is to work toward stopping selling cigarettes in Britain and to replace them with products like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, Business Insider reports. But the company isn't going cold turkey. When asked by the BBC why it's not going to simply stop making cigarettes, a company spokesman said: "We are trying to go smoke free as fast as we can. If we just stopped selling cigarettes tomorrow, others would sell them in our place."
"No cigarette company has done anything like this before. You might wonder if we really mean it," said the company's ads, which promised Philip Morris will take anti-smoking steps including launching a campaign to give smokers information on quitting or switching to smoke-free alternatives. The company also promised to support stop-smoking services in areas with the highest smoking rates. Critics called the move a PR stunt, reports USA Today, which notes that the World Health Organization has accused the tobacco industry of misleading the public about the risks associated with other tobacco products. (In the US, a court has ordered Big Tobacco to run anti-smoking ads on TV.)