Philip Morris’ Acquisitions Move the Deckchairs Around but Don’t Change Reality

Philip Morris’ Acquisitions Move the Deckchairs Around but Don’t Change Reality

Statement from STOP, a Global Tobacco Industry Watchdog

(New York, May 10, 2022) — Tobacco industry watchdog, STOP, today responded to Philip Morris International’s (PMI) potential acquisition of Swedish Match with the following statement. Jorge Alday, Director at Vital Strategies, a partner in STOP, said:

“Philip Morris International may be moving the deckchairs around by buying Swedish Match but, like its pharmaceutical company acquisitions last year, it doesn’t change the fact that PMI is still one of the world’s biggest cigarette companies. Cynical investments in vaccines and asthma inhalers rightly cause concern among investors, regulators and the public. Adding new snus and nicotine pouches to its portfolio just gives it another way to replace customers who are quitting tobacco or dying from its core product; these products are reported to appeal to youth and non-smokers.

“The potential deal also suggests that in spite of comments in December that PMI could meet its targets for decreasing the proportion of its revenues from cigarette sales without mergers and acquisitions, the truth is closer to the comments it made around its deals for Fertin Pharma and Vectura—that PMI’s acquisitions are needed to make progress toward that goal. The Financial Times this week described PMI as the ‘most aggressive company in an industry that is scrambling to gain market share in so-called new-generation products.’ Its acquisition strategy is at the core of those efforts, funded by profits from its deadly cigarettes.”

STOP’s analysis of PMI’s strategy includes the PMI Uncovered report, a review of the company’s Unsmoke campaign, and PMI-related information on Tobacco Tactics.

Please contact the STOP press office for more information or to speak to a STOP spokesperson.

About STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products)

STOP is a global tobacco industry watchdog whose mission is to expose the tobacco industry strategies and tactics that undermine public health. STOP is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and comprised of a partnership among The Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, The Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC), the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and Vital Strategies. For more information, visit