Three red packs of Marlboro cigarettes.
A pack of Philip Morris International Inc. Marlboro Red cigarettes seen in a Tobacco Store.
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Philip Morris International CEO Jacek Olczak said the company will stop selling Marlboro cigarettes in the UK within a decade.
  • He also said cigarettes should be banned in the UK, similar to gas-powered cars.
  • Philip Morris International is separate from Philip Morris USA, which makes Marlboro cigarettes in the US.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The chief executive of Philip Morris International, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes abroad, said that his company will stop selling cigarettes in the UK within a decade.

CEO Jacek Olczak told The Mail on Sunday that the move is part of the company's goal to become smoke-free and to help end the use of traditional cigarettes.

Olczak also called on the UK government to outlaw cigarettes within a decade, comparing them to gas-powered cars, which will be banned from being sold in the country starting in 2030, according to The Telegraph.

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"We can see the world without cigarettes. And actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone," he said. "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."

Philip Morris International is separate from Philip Morris USA, which makes Marlboro cigarettes in the US and is a division of the American tobacco corporation Altria. It split from Philip Morris USA in 2008 and recently announced plans to transform into a smoke-free company, as well as its intention to buy British pharmaceutical company Vectura Group, which makes asthma inhalers.

Anti-smoking groups in the UK criticized the move, accusing tobacco companies of trying to position themselves as anti-smoking while still selling cigarettes products, according to The Guardian.

Smoking kills more than eight million people worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization.

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